Women’s lax takes down Conn. College 12-11

Natalie Gill ’16 broke eight minutes of scoreless play in the first half with a goal on a free position shot.
Natalie Gill ’16 broke eight minutes of scoreless play in the first half with a goal on a free position shot.

Vaulted by five goals from Hillary Cook ’15, No. 19 Williams (2-2, 1-2 in the NESCAC) defeated Conn. College last Wednesday night on Farley-Lamb Field. Despite facing deficits of 4-0 and 6-2, the Ephs battled back against the Camels to force overtime. With only 1:12 remaining in the second overtime period, Cook dodged past three defenders, leapt into the air, and touched the ball past the Camels’ goaltender, Meg Raskin, to seal the Ephs’ victory.

Conn. College opened the scoring in the game at 27:16 on a goal from Taylor Thomas. Under two minutes later, Thomas found an open Heidi Halsted on the crease for the senior’s second goal of the season. The Camels jumped out to a 4-0 lead before Cook could bury two past Raskin to cut the Ephs’ deficit in half.

Following Cook’s heroics, Conn. College continued to demonstrate its offensive prowess, firing two more past Williams goaltender, Brett Bidstrup ’17, at 12:13 and 11:07 to make the game 6-2. The game remained scoreless for eight minutes until Natalie Gill ’16 found the back of the net on a free position shot at 3:25. Shortly thereafter, tri-captain Bridget Malicki ’15 opted for a bounce pass to Nancy Palmer ’15, who was brought down by the Conn. College defense and awarded a free position chance. Palmer did not miss, and the Ephs entered the half down by two, 6-4.

Palmer nearly opened the scoring in the second half at 28:30. After dancing through two Camel defenders, she unleashed a shot from just outside of the crease but was denied by the foot of Raskin. The Ephs, who retained possession following the missed chance, were again denied by Raskin on a free position shot from tri-captain Maeve Mulholland ’15. A diving shot by Malicki at 27:45 finally beat Raskin, bringing the Ephs within one point.

Two consecutive goals by Cook, the latter assisted by Malicki, gave the Ephs their first lead of the game, 8-7. Williams continued its offensive momentum, striking twice before the midway point of the second half. After Williams and Conn. exchanged a string of goals, the Camels’ Thomas was awarded a free position shot with just over 10 minutes to play. Bidstrup stood tall in the Eph net and turned Thomas’ bid aside to keep the Ephs’ 9-8 lead

After goals from both sides put the score level at 10-10, Conn. College’s Hannah Donegan dodged her way through the women’s defense and beat Bidstrup to give her team an 11-10 lead with only 1:25 remaining in regulation. Following Donegan’s goal, Gill secured the draw and found Malicki just outside the 12-meter fan. Malicki dodged her way through the Camel defense, sending a bounce-shot from just inside the eight-meter arc that eluded Raskin with only 56.4 left on the clock. Regulation came to a close with both teams knotted at 11-11.

An incredible individual effort by Cook with 1:12 remaining in overtime gave the Ephs their first NESCAC victory of the season. It was Cook’s fifth goal of the night and team-leading 15th of the season.

The Ephs were led in scoring by Cook, who registered five goals from six shots. Conn. College’s Thomas, Madison Barker, Donegan and Tina Balzotti each registered two goals on the night.

Raskin fashioned 14 saves on 26 shots faced, while Bidstrup, who made two critical free position stops for the Ephs, registered three saves on 14 shots. The team is greatly satisfied by its win. “We knew we needed a NESCAC win going into this game,” tri-captain Bridget Malicki ’15 said. “We got off to a rocky start, but once we shook that out of our system, we came back ready to fire in the second half. It was an extremely close and tough game that we gladly put under our record but we are looking to get more solid wins in the next few games.”

The women travel to Lewiston, Maine, for a matchup with Bates on Saturday before continuing on to Baltimore, Md. for a spring break trip. They will play Union College and Catholic University while in Maryland.