No. 5 Middlebury Uses 7-0 Run to Down Hamilton

Fifth-ranked Middlebury (8-1, 5-1) rattled off seven-unanswered goals over nearly 18 minutes Wednesday en route to a come-from-behind 11-8 NESCAC victory over Hamilton in women's lacrosse action on Kohn Field. Middlebury returns to the field Saturday on the road at Bates, while Hamilton plays at Tufts.

In the first half, the hosts took an early 2-0 lead via an unassisted goal from Bridget Instrum, and a goal from Laurel Pascal on a pass from behind the net by Mary O'Connell. The Continentals (4-5, 1-5) rattled off a 5-0 run of their own over a 10-plus minute stretch and grabbed a 5-2 advantage with 15:00 left in the half. Katie D'Antonio and Kathryn Maiorano each had two goals sandwiched around a free-position goal by Emily Brodsky.

Pascal pulled the Panthers to within two when she scooped up a Hamilton turnover near midfield and raced down the middle of the field for a quick shot to the upper-right corner with 8:06 remaining. Just over six minutes later, Lauren Brady gave the Continentals a three-goal lead once again when she carried it through the offensive zone and laced a shot to the top-left corner.

In the closing seconds of the first half, Instrum started the 7-0 Panther run when she forced a turnover and collected the ground ball. With the clock ticking down, she raced behind the goal and scored on a diving shot from left to right.

Out of the intermission, the Panthers continued to keep the pressure on the Continental defense. Middlebury rattled off the first six goals of the half with three coming from O'Connell and single goals from Chrissy Ritter, Instrum and Pascal for a 10-6 lead.

Alli Sciarretta picked up an assist on O'Connell's first goal during the run with a quick stick pass. Hamilton's Margaret Gabriel scored with 15:53 left, cutting the Middlebury lead to three at 10-7. A goal with 8:29 left by Pascal pushed the lead back to four in favor of the Panthers.

Hamilton's Taylor Ryan put a shot in the back of the net with 3:23 showing on the clock on a pass from D'Antonio for the final difference.

Pascal led Middlebury with five points via four goals and an assist. O'Connell and Instrum each finished with three goals and an assist, respectively. Pascal and Hannah Deoul tied for team-high honors with three draw controls apiece, while Deoul and Catherine Fowler each picked up three ground balls.

Alyssa Palomba improved to 8-1, posting six saves in goal for the Panthers.

D'Antonio finished with three points on two goals and a helper for the Continentals. Maiorano added two goals, while Brodsky and Gabriel each had a goal and an assist for Hamilton. Alice Grant paced the visitors with three ground balls.

Kari Koga recorded 13 saves in front of the net for the visitors.

Middlebury held the advantage in shots (25-15), ground balls (15-10) and draw controls (12-8).


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