Ephs drop final game 16-5 to Panthers

Women’s lacrosse (8-7, 3-7 in the NESCAC) played its final regular season game last Wednesday at Middlebury in Vermont. The Ephs fell behind the Panthers early, amassing a 5-0 deficit midway through the first period. The women ultimately fell 16-5, concluding their season.

Williams came out fighting in the first half, shutting down Middlebury’s aggressive offense for the first 15 minutes of play. However, the Panthers found a way through the Ephs’ defense and scored five goals over four minutes. Middlebury’s first score came off a free position shot at 15:23, followed by a second goal at 12:43 that gave Middlebury a 2-0 lead. The Panthers followed their first two tallies with goals at 12:14, 11:47 and 11:28 to establish an early 5-0 lead. Becca McGovern ’14 netted the women’s first goal with an unassisted score at 10:28 to make the game 5-1. However, the Panthers continued to add to their advantage, notching two more goals with one at 7:02 and another on a man-up score at 3:04. Stephanie Gallo ’14 retaliated with a man-up goal at 0:51 from a free position shot to make the score 7-2 in the Panthers’ favor. However, Middlebury was undeterred and added an eighth goal with 0:05 remaining in the half, making the score 8-2 in its favor at the break.

Middlebury continued to charge ahead in the second half, scoring two goals in the first 13 minutes of play, one at 26:34 and another at 17:53. Bridget Malicki ’15 answered for the Ephs with an unassisted goal at 15:03, but Middlebury notched two more to regain a 12-3 lead. Hillary Cook ’15 broke the run, scoring from a free position shot at 11:08 to make the score 12-4. At 7:52, Nancy Palmer ’15 found the back of the net, but the Panthers immediately rebounded with three goals to round out the game. In the end, Middlebury prevailed by a score of 16-5.

Williams and Middlebury were evenly matched on groundballs at 14 to 14, draw controls at 10 to 11 and turnovers at 16 to 17. Middlebury led Williams in shots 35 to 18, and despite the fact that the women had 14 shots on frame, strong goaltending from Middlebury kept them from scoring more than five goals. Ali Piltch ’14 had 11 saves for Williams.

The Ephs needed to defeat the Panthers in order to qualify for the NESCAC tournament. The women ultimately finished ninth in the NESCAC, ahead of Wesleyan and Conn. College. With the loss, the women concluded their season. The Ephs will graduate five seniors: Elizabeth Ryan ’13, Emily Whicker ’13, Amanda Weber ’13, co-captain Grace Horwitz ’13 and co-captain Sam Weinstein ’13.

“It was disappointing to see our season end on Wednesday, but all of the seniors were so proud of the team for fighting til the end and working so hard,” Weinstein said. “We’ve had a great year, and we can’t wait to follow the games next season and see what the team can do.”