Trinity Women's Lacrosse Falls To Middlebury In NESCAC Semifinals

Abby McInerney '18 had two goals, an assist, and three draw controls
Abby McInerney '18 had two goals, an assist, and three draw controls

Middlebury, Vt. – The Middlebury College Panthers scored six of the game's final seven goals to advance to the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship game with a 16-13 win over the visiting Trinity College Bantams this afternoon on Kohn Field. No. 9-ranked Trinity falls to 11-6 and will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.  The top-seeded and No. 6-ranked Panthers improve to 15-2 and will take on Bowdoin College in the title game tomorrow at 1:00 p.m. 

The hosts got off to a fast start, scoring three times in the initial 1:24 of play including the first goal of the game by Hollis Perticone just 36 seconds into the contest.  Trinity senior attacker Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) scored three of the game's next four goals, but Jenna McNicholas gave the Panthers a 5-3 edge with 17 minutes showing on the clock.  The Bantams reeled off three-straight goals for their first lead of the contest at 6-5 with 11:21 on the clock. Coffey started that  run on a free-position shot, while classmate Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) set up senior attacker Grace O'Donnell (Yarmouth, Maine) for a goal and then scored herself cutting to the net.  After two Panther goals, McInerney and Trinity senior midfielder Georgia Mergner (West Caldwell, N.J.) each tallied from the eight-meter arc, giving the visitors an 8-7 lead at the half.

The Bantams scored twice in a span of 29 seconds early in the second stanza, pushing the difference to 10-7 as senior tri-captain midfielder Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) assisted junior midfielder Mary French (Gloucester, Mass.) and then scored from senior Jennifer Cook (Manhasset, N.Y.). After Middlebury's Georgia Carroll and O'Donnell traded goals, the hosts closed to within a one at 12-11. Sara DiCenso made a nice move to the net for the first tally and Kirsten Murphy set up McNicholas on a cross-crease pass with 16:36 remaining.

Coffey pushed the visitors' lead back two at 12-10 just 12 seconds later after winning the draw control, but the Panthers vaulted back in front with four-consecutive goals in a span of six minutes. Kate Zecca got the run started in transition and Casey O'Neill tied the contest at 12-12. Murphy gave the hosts their first lead since the opening frame at the 12:06 mark, and O'Neill made it a two-goal cushion on a free-position attempt.  Barrett closed the gap to one at 14-13, scoring while falling to the ground, but Emma McDonagh tallied twice in a span of 57 seconds for the hosts to close out the scoring.

Coffey led all players with five goals and added five draw controls, while Barrett scored twice and dished out three assists. Junior defender Jen Durocher (Longmeadow, Mass.) led the Bantams with four ground balls and two caused turnovers, while senior tri-captain Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) finished with 18 saves.  Middlebury owned a 39-23 edge in shots and 19-12 in draw controls.  McDonagh led a balanced Panther offense with four goals, while O'Neill added three. In all, 10 different Middlebury players scored. Perticone hauled in nine draw controls, while Nicholas had a team-best four ground balls. Julia Keith made three saves in the opening half and Kate Furber had one in the final 30 minutes.