No. 6 Middlebury Ousts Defending Champ No. 3 Gettysburg

Gettysburg forced a turnover on Middlebury's next possession, but the Bullets came up empty as Lucy Jackson knocked the ball away from Robinson and came up with the ground ball. Katie Ritter turned in a man-up goal on a free-position shot with 3:56 to play to push the lead to four.

Facing elimination, the Bullets pressed on the defensive end, pulling the goalie to force double teams on the ball. The Panthers made the hosts pay, netting two easy goals in the final minutes.

Middlebury held the advantage in shots (29-27), ground balls (18-9), and draw controls (14-12). The Panthers scored seven free-position goals on 14 attempts, both season highs against Gettysburg's defense.

Church's four-point day gave her 272 for her career and pushed her into a tie for third on Gettysburg's all-time list. She also closed her career second in goals (210) and 10th in assists (62). Coleman finished the day with 10 saves and closed her tenure with 304 stops. She wrapped up her career in goal ranked sixth in career save percentage (.531) and second in goals against average (7.37). Gettysburg's only other remaining senior, Lexi Kelly (Ridley Park, Pa./Agnes Irwin), posted one ground ball in the game.

Pruitt and Kenny each finished with two goals, the latter adding three draw controls. Junior Hayward Sawers (Timonium, Md./St. Paul's School for Girls) recorded one assist, two ground balls, and three draw controls.

Nguyen finished with nine saves for Middlebury. Garry connected on four goals, including three of the free-position variety. Herzog netted three goals, and Margaret Souther and Colbert each posted two. Herzog added four draw controls and four ground balls, while Catherine Fowler picked up five draw controls.

* * * *

Middlebury defeated defending national champion Gettysburg, 15-9, in the NCAA Regional Finals on Sunday afternoon. The victory sends the Panthers (15-4) to the final four to face top-ranked and unbeaten Salisbury University (21-0) in the national semifinals on Saturday, May 19, at 1:00 p.m. at Montclair State.

The other national semifinal will pit SUNY Cortland (20-1) against Trinity College (19-1) at 4:00 p.m. Gettysburg, ranked No. 3 in the latest national poll, closes the season with a 19-2 overall record.

The goalies set an early tone for the game with big saves in the opening minutes, but the visitors finally found pay-dirt almost 10 minutes into the contest as Colbert connected on her second free-position attempt at 20:27.

The Bullets didn't let the lead last long, converting on a pair of player-up opportunities. Kenny tallied the first goal off a feed from Church at 17:45, and just 1:22 later, Robinson found Bailey Beardsley to make it 2-1. Middlebury wasted less than a minute in retaliating as Elizabeth Garry connected on another free-position attempt at 15:38 to tie the game.

Gettysburg turned in its largest lead of the game with back-to-back tallies by sophomore Loren Pruitt and Church to put the advantage at 4-2 with 9:26 to play.

The Panthers quickly regained the upper-hand, however, with the next four goals, including three off free-position attempts. Garry gave the visitors a 6-4 lead with her third goal of the half at 5:24. Kenny sliced the deficit to one with another man-up goal for Gettysburg, but Liza Herzog scored with just 12 ticks left in the half to set the score at 7-5.

After Robinson pulled Gettysburg to 9-8 at 16:22, Emma Kramer scored yet another free-position tally to push the lead back to two halfway through the final period. With Middlebury receiving another yellow card, the Bullets pushed their player advantage and scored their fourth man-up goal of the day as Pruitt connected on a free-position shot to pull the score to 10-9 with over 12 minutes remaining.

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