Middlebury, Vt. – Trinity College built a four-goal lead in the second half, but could not hold off a late Middlebury College rally, as the Panthers scored the game's final 10 goals in a 14-8 victory over the Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's lacrosse action this afternoon. Trinity, ranked No. 8 in the nation, falls to 9-4 overall and 5-3 in the NESCAC with its second consecutive setback, while No. 9-ranked Middlebury improves to 10-2 overall and 6-1 in the league. Trinity hosts No. 15-ranked Colby next Saturday, April 21 at 7 p.m.
Trinity got the early jump in the contest, opening the scoring 1:26 into the game on a tally by senior Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine). Classmate Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) doubled the lead just over a minute later on a pass from behind the net from senior Jennifer Cook (Manhasset, N.Y.), while junior Mary French (Gloucester, Mass.) and senior Grace O’Donnell (Yarmouth, Maine) added goals for a 4-0 lead. The hosts got onto the scoreboard with 13:35 remaining, as Hollis Perticone fired a shot that just got through Bantam senior tri-captain goalie Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.). Kirsten Murphy circled the crease for another Panther goal 53 seconds later, cutting the deficit in half. After rookie Sophie Berger (Bryn Mawr, Pa.) tallied for the visitors, the Panthers recorded back-to-back scores, making it a one-goal contest at 5-4. French pushed the difference to a pair of goals (6-4) at the half, netting her second of the period with 43 seconds left.
The Bantams took their biggest lead in the second half, netting the initial two scores of the new stanza. O’Donnell converted a quick-stick shot on a feed from Cook, while French buried a shot from five yards out with 21:16 on the clock. Middlebury began its big run 50 seconds after Trinity scored, when Erin Nicholas took advantage of a free-position shot. Murphy closed the gap to 8-6, scoring off a turnover, and 43 seconds later Perticone buried a free-position attempt for a one-goal difference (8-7) with 17:53 left to play. The hosts tied the game 17 seconds later, as Georgia Carroll jumped into the air to quick stick a pass from Emma McDonagh. Murphy gave the Panthers their first lead of the game at 9-8, scoring on an opportunity from the eight-meter arc. The Panthers went on to score the game's next five goals, as Trinity managed just one shot on goal the rest of the way and Middlebury won four the five draw controls over that stretch.
Coffey, O’Donnell and French each scored twice for the Bantams, while Cook dished out a game-high three assists. Senior tri-captain Clara Nowlan (Needham, Mass.) finished with four ground balls, while McInerney had four draw controls. Ferguson suffered the loss in goal, finishing with four saves. Murphy led all players with four goals and five points, while Perticone had two goals, one assist, seven ground balls and seven draw controls. Julia Keith earned the win in the crease with nine saves.