#13 Tufts Drops Heartbreaker to #11 Middlebury

MEDFORD - Senior co-captain Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, NJ) scored the game-winning goal with 14:10 remaining in the second half, and the #11 Middlebury women's lacrosse team made it stand up for a 10-9 victory at #13 Tufts in NESCAC action at Bello Field on Saturday.

Tufts sophomore Kerry Eaton (Norfolk, MA) scored at 14:22 of the second half to produce the game's sixth tie at 9-9. Ryan collected the ensuing draw for Middlebury, dashed down the field and fired home the deciding goal. She finished with three goals and an assist, while sophomore Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, NY) led the Panthers (9-4, 5-3 NESCAC) with four goals, two assists and six draw controls.

The one-goal loss is the third for Tufts (10-4, 5-3 NESCAC) against NESCAC's upper-echelon teams. They lost to Colby 11-10 and to Trinity 9-8. The Jumbos were led by two goals and two assists from current NESCAC Player of the Week Lara Kozin (Suffern, NY), while junior Casey Egan (Massapequa, NY) finished with a goal and two assists.

The Panthers took an early 3-0 lead, with sophomore Ellen Halle (Upperco, MD) recording a goal and an assist. Tufts rallied to tie the score at 4-4 with the help of two goals by first year Gabby Horner (Allentown, NJ) and two assists from Kozin. Souther scored off a pass from Ryan with 4:30 remaining in the half to put the visitors up 5-4 at intermission.

After the teams scored nine goals total in the first half, they combined for 10 in the first 16 minutes of the second half. Goals by Eaton and Kozin gave Tufts a 6-5 advantage, but Middlebury responded with scores from Souther and Ryan to lead 7-6. The teams traded the next six goals back-and-forth, including Ryan's winner.

Middlebury keeper Lily Nguyen (Oakland, CA) saved a Jumbo free-position shot, but the Panthers were soon whistled for a yellow card at 10:01. However, Tufts was called for a false start on a free-position attempt to turn the ball over to Middlebury. The Panthers were able to kill the rest of the penalty with possession.

The Panthers ran the clock down to around two minutes, but Tufts junior Kelly Cakert (Sudbury, MA) caused a turnover and scooped up the ground ball. After a Tufts time-out, the Jumbos turned the ball over before they could get a shot off and Middlebury was able to finish off the victory.

The Jumbos finished with slight edges in draw controls (12-9) and ground balls (13-11). Cakert and junior Stephanie Perez (East Providence, RI) both controlled three draws. Junior Emily Pillemer (Arlington, MA) led the hosts with four ground balls. Senior Sara Bloom (Summit, NJ) made five saves during 60 minutes of action in goal.

Michaela Colbert scored a goal and was one of four Panther players to finish with two ground balls. Nguyen finished with four saves.

Tufts closes its regular season next Friday when they host Bowdoin at 3:30 pm. Middlebury also finishes its regular season next Friday with a trip to Williams for a 4:30 pm game.


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