MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Three players scored two goals each for Amherst College, and Kyra Gardner '18 made 12 saves, but top-seeded Middlebury College used three goals Bea Eppler as the Panthers fended off a late rally by the eighth-seeded Mammoths to hold on for an 8-7 win in Saturday's NESCAC Championship Quarterfinal women's lacrosse game at Kohn Field in Middlebury, Vt.
With the loss, Amherst concludes its season with an overall record of 6-9, while Middlebury improves to 13-3 overall and advances to the NESCAC Semifinals next Saturday, May 6.
A closely contested game saw Amherst take an early 1-0 lead when Hannah Fox '20 scored following a pass from Claire Cagnassola '17 at the 25:56 mark to give the Mammoths a 1-0 lead. Less than three minutes later, Sara DiCenso equalized for Middlebury as Emma McDonagh distributed the pass that knotted the game at 1-1. Amherst took the lead back 1:11 later as Kelly Karczewski '18 scored on a free position shot to make it 2-1 in favor of the visitors with 22:07 to play in the first half. The Panthers then struck for three straight goals as Eppler, Casey O'Neill and Mary O'Connell each found the back of the net to give the hosts a 4-2 lead with 16:30 to play in the half. McDonagh and Hollis Perticone added the assists on the final two goals of the run.
Karczewski and Kate Wyeth '17 responded for Amherst with quick goals to make it 4-4 with 14:52 to play in the half, but an Eppler tally with 1:33 remaining in the frame allowed Middlebury to stake a 5-4 edge at intermission.
Early in the second half, the Panthers increased their lead to 7-4 when Eppler scored at the 29:12 mark with an assist from Perticone, before O'Connell notched a free position goal at the 25:21 mark to give the hosts a three-goal cushion. Julia Crerend '18 and DiCenso then exchanged scores to make it 8-5 with 5:29 to play as Fox and Perticone provided the respective assists. The Mammoths continued to rally as Wyeth scored with 3:44 to play after a pass from Annie Cohen '19, before Crerend contributed her second marker of the stanza with 1:55 to play pull Amherst to within one at 8-7. The visitors saw one more attempt at the equalizer with 22 seconds left on the clock, but Karczewski's shot was corralled by Kate Furber as Middlebury held on for a thrilling, 8-7 victory.
BY THE NUMBERS
- Sabrina Solow '19 was terrific in midfield for Amherst picking up six ground balls and causing six opponent turnovers, while Katherine Malone '20 followed with three ground balls.
- In the draw, Fox was stellar, earning four of the team's seven wins, while Gardner made 12 saves between the posts including eight in the first half.
- Middlebury as led by a three-ground ball effort from Alex White and Furber, while Perticone finished with a game-high six draw controls.
- Furber also made 12 stops in goal for the Panthers, including nine in the second half to help the hosts advance to the semifinals of the conference tournament.