Women’s lacrosse dispatches Midd. in 3OT

Women’s lacrosse (6-9, 2-8 in the NESCAC) closed out its season on a high note, beating Middlebury 15-14 last Wednesday in triple overtime. The game marked the women’s second conference win and its last match-up of the season. 

Taylor Fleishhacker ’12 notched an assist in Wednesday’s game. PHOTO COURTESY OF THE FLEISHHACKER FAMILY.

The Panthers opened the game with a goal from Margaret Souther in the first minute. Rebecca McGovern ’14 retaliated for the Ephs four minutes later, scoring an unassisted goal to tie the game at 1-1. Souther scored again to begin a three-goal streak for the Panthers, putting them up 4-1 with 18 minutes left in the half. The Ephs then earned a man-up opportunity and were able to bring themselves within two goals at 4-2 off a free-position shot by Emily Whicker ’13.

Middlebury scored again with 11:06 remaining in the half for a 5-2 tally. Tri-captain Margie Fulton ’12 scored two minutes later off a pass from Emily Jablonski ’14 to bring the score to 5-3 with just under 10 minutes to play. McGovern scored again, this time assisted by Taylor Fleishhacker ’12, pulling the Ephs within one at 5-4. However, Middlebury scored again with three minutes remaining to make the score 6-4 at the half.

In the second half, it was the Ephs who opened scoring, with Fulton put-ting away a goal after just two minutes of play to narrow the deficit to 6-5. Middlebury answered back two minutes later to bring the score to 7-5. Williams then went on a scoring streak, netting six goals in 10 minutes. Fulton scored twice in that time to jumpstart the women’s scoring and even the score at 7-7; both of her goals were assisted by Jablonski. Whicker won the next draw control and made a pass to Jablonski, who was open in front of the net. Jablonski had a one-on-one opportunity with the Middlebury netminder and came away victorious, burying the ball in the net for an 8-7 lead. A minute later, tri-captain Meera Sivalingam ’12 made a pass to Lilly Wellenbach ’15, who was cutting on the crease. Wellenbach made the play for a 9-7 advantage.

Middlebury made a comeback attempt, putting some pressure on the Williams defense. However, this proved to be unsuccessful: Lacey Hankin ’14 recovered the ball and made a pass out of the defensive zone to Sam Weinstein ’13. Weinstein found Jablonski in front of the goal, and Jablonski scored again to increase the lead to 10-7 with 20:27 remaining in the half.

After this goal, the offensive pressure slowed for a few minutes, but Wellenbach found Jablonski cutting in front of the cage. With Jablonski’s score, Williams widened its lead to four at 11-7 with 16:42 left to play.

Over the next five minutes, Middlebury scored four goals to tie the score at 11-11. Wellenbach then scored with 10:32 remaining to give the Ephs a 12-11 lead. Twenty seconds later, Souther scored for Middlebury, knotting the score at 12-12. The Panthers scored again three minutes later, but the Ephs answered back just 30 seconds later with a goal from Weinstein to again even the score, this time at 13-13. Despite intense offensive efforts from both teams, regulation time ended in a tie, forcing the game into overtime.

In the first overtime period, Weinstein scored an unassisted goal 1:13 into the period, to give the Ephs a 14-13 advantage. The Panthers answered back with a Souther score a minute later. Time ran out on the first period of extra time with the score knotted at 14-14.

Neither team scored in the second overtime, partly thanks to a stellar one-on-one save by Williams netminder Ali Piltch ’14. In the third overtime period, Middlebury won the draw control. With the ball in its defensive end, Williams needed a stop, and McGovern forced a turnover. Wellenbach found Whicker in front of the net, who scored to end the game 15-14 in favor of the Ephs.

“The Middlebury game was the best possible way for our season to end,” Fulton said. “Even when we were down, we never stopped fighting. The hard work that we’d put in all season finally came to fruition, and after Whicker scored the game-winner we couldn’t have been happier.”

Despite the win, Williams will not continue on to postseason play this season, as the women failed to qualify for the NESCAC tournament.

The Ephs graduate five seniors this June: tri-captains Sivalingam, Fulton and Tyler Chapman ’12, and Fleishhacker and Katie Ellis ’12, who was side-lined with a concussion for the last two games of the season.

“We came together as a team as the season progressed and played our best lacrosse of the year at the end of the season,” Fulton said. “I think I can speak for the other seniors when I say that this team was one of the most fun groups we’ve played with in the past four years, and it was truly special for us to end our careers on a high note.”

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