No. 13 Women's Lacrosse Edged By No. 5 Middlebury in Nail-Biter, 11-9

No. 13 Women's Lacrosse Edged By No. 5 Middlebury in Nail-Biter, 11-9

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Closing out the second half on a 3-1 run, the Mammoths cut the Panthers' lead to two with 8:15 remaining, however neither side was able to find the back of the net in the final stretch as the No. 13 Amherst College women's lacrosse team fell to No. 5 Middlebury College, 11-9 Saturday afternoon at Kohn Field. 

With the setback, Amherst falls to 6-2 on the season and to 2-2 in conference play, while Middlebury improves to 7-1 overall (4-1 NESCAC). Amherst returns to the field this Wednesday, April 3 when they travel to Little III rival and No. 12 Wesleyan for a 6 p.m. matchup.

First to strike, Emily Barnard got the Panthers on the board with an unassisted player-up goal at the 27:55 mark.

Quickly countering, Isabelle Sennett '20 powered a dish from Claire Dunbar '20 over the goal line 38 seconds later to notch things at one all early. 

A quick feed from Grace Getman to Emma McDonagh on a free positon set up gave Middlebury a lead they never relinquished, while Jenna McNicholas teamed up with Barnard less than a minute later at the 23:18 mark to make it 3-1.

The sides traded the next six goals to close out the first half, with Hannah Fox '20, Dunbar and Becky Kendall '22 finding nylon for Amherst and McDonagh (2) and Casey O'Neill tacking on tallies for the home team to set the score at 6-4 Middlebury at intermission.

Getting within one, Amherst opened second-half scoring 1:36 into action, as a long drive down the middle by Sennett resulted in an unassisted strike.

Controlling the ensuing draw, the Panthers responded on their next shot of the game, with Barnard logging her second goal of the contest to put the Panthers ahead, 7-5, before a Talia Land '20 stop and Kelly Siebert '20 ground ball pickup set the scene for another Kendall goal at the 25:02 mark.

Leading 7-6, a three-goal burst by Middlebury over the next 10 minutes stood as the difference maker in the game as Jenna McNicholas (2) and Barnard extended the Panthers' cushion to 10-6.

Halting the unanswered run with 14:09 on the clock, Fox beat the Middlebury netminder with a free positon shot from the top of the arc before McDonagh logged a free position goal of her own two minutes later. The score stood as the Panthers' final goal of the day. 

Looking to get within striking distance with time winding down, goals by sophomores Leah Ritterband and Maia Noyes got the Mammoths within two with 8:15 remaining in regulation, however the visitors could get no closer as Panthers' keeper Julia Keith recorded saves on the final two Amherst shots on net.

BY THE NUMBERS

  • In between the pipes, Land (6-2) made six saves for Amherst in the losing effort, while Keith finished with seven stops for Middlebury in the win.
  • Sennett, Kendall and Fox each tallied two goals for the Mammoths, while Dunbar netted a goal to go along with three assists. Fox's six draw controls and senior Kate Burn's three caused turnovers were game highs.
  • The Mammoths owned the advantage in draw controls (14-8), shots (26-21) and ground balls (18-16) and finished 1-for-7 on free position shots, while the Panthers went 3-for-4 on free positon opportunities.