The Williams women’s lacrosse team had a tough week, dropping two games in their fight to qualify for postseason play. On Wednesday, the team fell 16-8 to the second-ranked team in the nation, Middlebury College, and later in the week they dropped a match to Amherst by a single goal, 11-10.
Williams faced Amherst at home on a beautiful Saturday in a game that would determine the Little Three Champion as well as help determine the post season of both teams. It was a battle from the start, as Amherst commenced the scoring just two minutes into the game, only to be answered by Caitlin Ritchie ’00 a minute later. Both teams continued to match each other goal for goal, including two more for Williams from Ritchie and two from Cara Shortsleeve ’00, tying the game at five. With time in the first half running down, Amherst netted the last goal before halftime to give the Jeffs a 6-5 lead at the break.
The Ephs came oEut inspired in the second half and played with sheer determination. In her last home game, senior Alison Furey scored within the first minute of the second half as she dodged the Lord Jeffs defense. Just a half minute later, Sam Daigneault ’00 scored unassisted to put Williams ahead 7-6.
Williams struck again seconds later when Shortsleeve scored off of a free position which gave Williams a two goal lead. The strong play of senior co-captain Katie Minton and Katie Gold ’00 helped Williams to stop the Amherst offense, holding them scoreless for twelve minutes. However, with just over 14 minutes remaining Amherst took a 9-8 lead.
Williams would continue to fight, though, as Shortsleeve and Heather Black ’02 netted a goal each to regain a 10-9 lead. With the game tied at 10 and just over a minute remaining, the Jeffs scored to take an 11-10 lead. There was time for one more Eph attack, but the Amherst goalie came up with a big save to give them the 11-10 win. Leading Williams in scoring was Shortsleeve with four goals and the only three assists of the game, as well as Ritchie who netted three goals. Goalie Dede Orraca-Tetteh ‘99 made 13 saves on the day.
Traveling to play undefeated Middlebury earlier in the week, the Ephs looked to continue their four-year win streak against the Panthers. Middlebury started with three quick goals, but Meghan Cleary ’00 got the Ephs on the board with an unassisted goal.
Shortsleeve and Furey would likewise score unassisted to put Williams in a 3-3 tie with the Panthers. Middlebury then went on the offensive attack scoring four goals in a row to give them a 7-3 lead at the half.
The Ephs came out strong just 1:30 into the second as Ritchie scored, followed by Cleary’s second unassisted goal. But Middlebury answered to keep a four-goal lead and never looked back. Williams went on to score three more goals, but they could not keep up with Middlebury. By the end of the game, Ritchie had notched three goals, while Shortsleeve added two goals and two assists. Cleary likewise netted two goals and Furey scored one goal. In the net for Williams Orraca-Tetteh made 15 saves.
Williams closes its regular season with an 8-3 record as they look towards ECAC play. Despite being among the top teams in the country, the Ephs did not make NCAA play because of the strength of the Northeast Region. As of Monday night, the team is awaiting its seed for the ECAC Tournament.