Second Half Surge Lifts Colby Over Middlebury in Women's Lacrosse Semifinals, 17-12

Courtesy Tufts Sports Information

Box Score

MEDFORD, Mass. - A six-goal run in the second half by Colby College broke open a 7-7 game and sent the Mules on their way to a 17-12 victory over Middlebury College in the semifinals of the 2009 NESCAC Women's Lacrosse Championship on Saturday afternoon at Tufts University's Bello Field. The defending NESCAC Champion Mules (15-1) will play Williams College for the conference title tomorrow beginning at noon on Bello Field.

Colby and Middlebury were tied 6-6 at halftime. After the teams traded goals making it 7-7, senior Heather Nickerson (Falmouth, Mass.) and junior Caroline Atwater (Catonsville, Md.) both scored twice during the 6-0 run for Colby that gave them a 13-7 advantage with 15:57 remaining in the second half. Middlebury stopped the streak with a goal by sophomore Chase Delano (Greenwich, Conn.), but Colby scored three of the next four goals and led 16-9 on Kate Sheridan's (Hingham, Mass.) tally with 7:18 remaining. Back-to-back Middlebury goals by sophomore Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) and junior Dana Heritage (Cheshire, Conn.) had them within 16-11 with 4:41 on the clock, but they would not get any closer.

The Mules and Panthers (9-5) went back-and-forth in the first half. Ryan scored the game's first two goals for Middlebury, but Colby tied it at 2-2 on a goal by Amy Campbell (North Andover, Mass.) at 16:26. Ryan had her third of the game to help Middlebury take a 4-2 edge, but the Mules responded with four straight, two by senior Becky Julian (South Windsor, Conn.), and led 6-4. Delano and senior Caroline Kirkendoll (Telluride, Colo.) brought Middlebury even at 6-6 heading into halftime.

Colby, seeded second in NESCAC tournament, was led by three goals from Campbell and Atwater, who also had two assists and caused two turnovers. Five other Mules scored twice, with Sheridan adding two assists and three draw controls to her pair. Junior Kathleen Kramer (Norwell, Mass.) controlled three draws along with her two goals. First-year Claire Donegan (Great Falls, Va.) set up three goals and had three ground balls, while sophomore goalie Sarah Warnke (Lakeville, Conn.) made eight saves and scooped up four ground balls.

Middlebury's Ryan was the game-high scorer with five goals and an assist, while Delano scored four times with one assist. Senior Taryn Petrelli (Harrison, N.Y.) also had a game-high with five caused turnovers, and senior goalie Blaire Bowie (Washington, D.C.) finished with 10 saves (seven in the first half), six ground balls and three caused turnovers. Kirkendoll controlled three draws to lead the Panthers, who were the number three seed in the tournament.

Colby had advantages in the team statistics for shots (32-25), ground balls (17-13) and draw controls (18-13).