No. 10 women's lacrosse fights back for win over No. 4 Middlebury, 9-6

WATERVILLE, Maine -- The 10th-ranked Colby College women's lacrosse team held fourth-ranked and defending national champion Middlebury College without a goal for the final 28:57 of the contest in a 9-6 victory on Senior Day at Bill Alfond Field.

The Mules, winners of nine straight games, scored on all four of their shots in the second half to turn a 6-5 deficit into a victory. 
 

Colby and Middlebury are both 11-3 overall and 7-2 in New England Small College Athletic Conference play. Hamilton College took a 7-6 win over Trinity College to finish 8-2 in the league, while the Bantams fell to 7-2. Colby hosts Bates College at 5 p.m. Wednesday. Middlebury plays host to Williams College at 6:30 p.m., while Trinity is at Amherst College at 6 p.m. The league playoffs will be announced after the games Wednesday.

How good has the women's lacrosse program been over the years?  Colby's nine-game win streak is not even close to the record of 15 straight wins during the NESCAC title season of 2009. The current streak ranks tied for fourth with the 2002 squad. The 2006 team won 11 straight games and 2003 had a 10-game win streak. The Mules have nine seasons with seven straight wins or more since the NESCAC introduced a playoff system for the 2001 season.

The Panthers never trailed in the game until the second half. The teams battled to a 5-5 halftime tie, but Middlebury went ahead again when Bea Eppler scored from Hollis Perticone just 1:03 into the half.
 

Little did anyone realize at that point the Panthers would not score another goal. Colby goalie Izzy Scribano made five of her nine saves in the second half, with three of them coming on free-position shots.

Colby's defense did the job in front of Scribano. Senior midfielder Emilie Klein had one goal, two assists, five caused turnovers, three draw controls, and three ground balls. She also scored the game-clinching goal to give the Mules a 9-6 margin with 2:17 remaining.
 

All-American defender Jackie Brokaw also had five caused turnovers, while Melinda Edie and Gemma Bready both had one caused turnover and two ground balls for the Mules.

Colby's Lexie Perticone, the older sister of Middlebury's Hollis Perticone, tied the game at 6-6 off an assist from Klein on a transition goal. 
 

Sasha Fritts, the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III Offensive Player of the Week last week, scored the winning goal on a free-position shot with 21:01 left to give the Mules their first lead. Fritts had three goals on the day and has 35 on the season.

Kelsey Bowen scored her team-best ninth free-position goal of the season for Colby with 16:44 remaining for some breathing room.
 

Both teams picked up on defense in the final 15 minutes and there were numerous turnovers. The Mules had 12 of their 20 turnovers in the second half, while the Panthers finished with 19 turnovers.

The Mules spread out their offense in the final four minutes, culminating with Klein scoring from in front for the ninth goal. Colby won the draw control and ran out the final 2:17 of the game.
 

Middlebury twice had two goal leads in the opening half. Emma McDonagh scored 2;14 into the game for the Panthers, but Fritts answered with a free-position goal to tie the contest. McDonagh and Hollis Perticone had back-to-back free-position goals to put the Panthers up 3-1. 

Fritts scored unassisted on a nice individual move to the goal with 13:45 left to intermission, but Hollis Perticone got her second goal of the half on a nice run to the goal for a 4-2 margin.
 

Lexie Perticone took a pass in front from Celeste Murtha to cut the margin back to one goal. Kendall Smith then tied it at 4-4 off a pass from Klein. Eppler scored her first of the game from Jenna McNicholas with 4:45 to halftime. Smith made it 5-5 at halftime off a feed from Bowen with just 1:07 to play.

Hollis Perticone had two goals, one assist, five draw controls, three caused turnovers, and two ground balls. Susanna Baker added two caused turnovers and two ground balls, Sara DiCenso had three draw controls, and Delaina Smith finished with two caused turnovers and one ground ball.
 

Panther goalie Kate Furber had all five of her saves in the first half.

The Mules were 3-for-3 on free-position shots, while the Panthers made two of their seven shots. 
 

Box: http://gocolbymules.com/sports/wlax/2016-17/boxscores/20170422_wdy2.xml

PHOTOS BY SALLY BOWEN