Women’s lax storms into 3rd round of NCAAs

Emily Gerber ’15 provided solid defense and collected two groundballs for the women against Wheaton last Saturday.
Emily Gerber ’15 provided solid defense and collected two groundballs for the women against Wheaton last Saturday.

Women’s lacrosse (13-4, 7-3 in the NESCAC) hosted Wheaton at Cole Field last Saturday in the second round of the NCAA Div. III Tournament. This was the first time the two schools have played each other since the 2001 ECAC tournament in which the Ephs won 16-5. This time around, the women prevailed by a score of 9-6.

The Ephs dominated the first half on both offense and defense, scoring six goals while shutting out the Lyons. Midfielder Alyssa Amos ’15 got the Ephs on the board early by scoring the game’s first goal. After a steady stream of turnovers prevented either team from scoring, Becca Bell ’15 sliced through the Wheaton defense to give her team a two-goal lead with 20:56 left in the half. Nancy Palmer ’15 added her second goal of the game less than a minute later when she scooped up a loose ball on the ground and proceeded to put it in the net to bring the score to 3-0. Midfielder Natalie Gill ’16 then scored back-to-back goals that continued the Williams offensive surge and gave the Ephs a commanding five-goal lead halfway through the first period. Bridget Malicki ’15 capped off the first-half scoring spree by netting an unassisted goal with a little over a minute before halftime. The Ephs went into the locker room with a comfortable 6-0 lead.

In the second half, Amos once again opened up the scoring as she fired a shot past Wheaton goalie Katy Ananian to extend the Williams lead to seven. The Lyon offense found its spark and rallied to score three consecutive goals in seven minutes to cut into the Ephs’ lead and bring the score to 7-3. However, the Ephs shifted the momentum back in their favor when Amos cut to the middle of the field and received a well-executed pass from Malicki to score her third goal of the game. The Lyons continued to battle back, earning two free position shots. The first was blocked by tri-captain goalie Ali Piltch ’14; the second came off the stick of Jenna Tewksbury and found its way into the net. With the score 8-4 and 5:28 remaining, Jenna Chodos ’17 scored the ninth and final goal of the game for the Ephs. The Lyons scored two more goals in the remaining minutes, but the strong Eph defense led by Piltch, tri-captain Lacey Hankin ’14 and Emily Gerber ’15 prevented any sort of comeback threat. The final buzzer sounded as the Ephs won by a score of 9-6. Piltch provided another outstanding performance with nine saves and Amos led all scorers with three goals.

“Advancing to the NCAA [Div. III] tournament in the first place was a huge milestone for us as a team, because none of us have ever advanced this far into the postseason in our respective times at Williams,” tri-captain Rebecca McGovern ’14 said. “It has definitely been a lot of hard work sustaining our level of play through the post season but I am really proud of how far this team is willing to push themselves.”

The women will play their third round game on Saturday against Colby in Cortland, N.Y.

Earlier in the week, McGovern and Malicki were recognized for their success in NESCAC play. McGovern garnered First Team All-NESCAC honors, while Malicki received Second Team honors.

At the conclusion of the season, the Ephs will graduate McGovern, Hankin, Piltch, Courtney McLaughlin ’14, Stephanie Gallo ’14, Maggic MacCallum ’14 and Grace Wilson ’14,