Women’s lax steals 10-9 overtime thriller

As the weather warmed up over spring break, women’s lacrosse (11-1, 7-1 in the NESCAC) went on a hot streak, winning seven consecutive games over a two-week span. The women opened their spring break campaign with a crucial conference victory over Bates in which Bridget Malicki ’15 and tri-captain Rebecca McGovern ’14 finished with two goals apiece in the 6-5 win. The team then travelled down to Clermont, Fla. to play Union and Wellesley in two non-conference games. The women’s offensive attack was on point as they put up double-digit scores, defeating Union 13-8 and Wellesley 17-5. The momentum continued to build as Williams picked up three more wins in four days, two of them against conference rivals Tufts and Wesleyan.  These wins brought the winning streak to seven games, which landed the  women a top 10 national ranking according to the Intercollegiate Women’s Lacrosse Association. Williams also beat Hamilton 9-8 in overtime on April 8 and downed Colby last Saturday in a 10-9 thriller.

On Saturday, the Ephs traveled to Maine to take on the Mules, looking to extend their winning streak to nine games. McGovern started the game with an impressive unassisted goal, her 25th of the season. The two teams proceeded to score back-and-forth intermittently as both the Ephs and Mules defenses held strong and prevented either offense from finding a spark. Katherine Eddy got the Mules on the board on a man-up situation and then proceeded to pick up her second goal of the game on a free position shot that ended up being the final goal of the first half. The defensive struggle brought the score to 4-4 as both teams headed to the locker for halftime.

After going down 5-4 just a minute into the second half, Malicki answered the Colby attack by firing a shot past goalie Michelle Burt to tie the game at 5-5. The Mules then found their offensive rhythm as they scored three unanswered goals, two of them by Eddy, giving her four goals on the game. The combination of a strong attack, rigid defense and essential saves by tri-captain Ali Piltch ’14 gave the Ephs the surge they needed to overcome the Mules’ offensive strike. Alyssa Amos ’15 and Hilary Cook ’15 scored quick goals to cut the Ephs’ deficit to one. Then with 30 seconds lefts in regulation, Malicki put one past Burt to tie the game at 8-8. A crucial save by Piltch with nine seconds to go carried the Ephs into overtime.

Eddy added her fifth goal of the game in the first overtime to put the Mules up 9-8. One minute later, a foul on Colby gave McGovern the chance to tie the game on a free position shot. Once again displaying her offensive talent, McGovern converted to tie the game. Neither team scored for the remainder of the period, sending the game into a second overtime. The Ephs gained key possession off the draw control in double overtime, which lead to McGovern’s game winning goal with two minutes left. The final score was 10-9 in favor of Williams. Piltch ended the game with nine saves and McGovern led the offense with three goals and an assist.

“We were very excited about the win this weekend,” Piltch said. “We’ve played until the final whistle in every game this season and I think that says a lot about this team’s character.”

The women defeated Hamilton on April 8 in a thrilling 9-8 overtime win. After a long, hard-fought game against a talented Hamilton squad, Williams found itself locked at a score of 8-8 when the final buzzer rang. However, just 36 seconds into the overtime period, Malicki split the Hamilton defense and scored an unassisted goal to give the Ephs the lead. The women’s defense shut out the Continentals for the remainder of the game to seal the victory.

On April 5, the women defeated Little Three rival Wesleyan 13-5. After the Cardinals took a 1-0 lead, the Ephs responded with six first-half goals, including two from Nancy Palmer ’15, to head into halftime with a 6-3 lead. In the opening minutes of the second half, Williams scored four unanswered goals to put the game out of reach at 10-3. Malicki, Palmer and Amos all contributed to the offensive onslaught in the second half, and the game ended with a score of 13-5.

On April 3, the women topped Castleton 16-4 in a rescheduled game from earlier in the season. Maeve Mullholland ’15 recorded a hat trick and an assist to lead the Ephs offensively, while Piltch had little to do in goal, recording only three saves. On April 2, the Ephs beat the Jumbos 10-5, with Malicki and McGovern leading the offensive charge. Malicki had four goals and an assist, while McGovern scored three goals of her own.

On March 27, the women crushed Wellesley 17-5. McGovern and Palmer each scored two goals in a first half that saw the Ephs take a commanding 9-2 lead. Palmer added a third goal in the second half to lead the women in scoring on the day. The women also defeated Union 13-8 on March 26. The game was tight throughout the first half, with the score knotted at 5-5 heading into the break, but the Ephs went on a 5-1 run in the opening 15 minutes of the second half to pull away from the Dutchwomen. On March 22, the Ephs beat the Bobcats in a tight 6-5 matchup. Bates went up 2-0 after 10 minutes of play, but the women responded with a couple of goals of their own and only trailed 3-2 heading into halftime. The Bobcats were up 5-3 midway through the second half, but three unanswered goals from the Ephs in the final minutes earned them the 6-5 victory.

The women’s next game will be at RPI tonight at 7 p.m. On Saturday, they take on Amherst at 1 p.m.