Women’s lacrosse notches victory over Wesleyan

Women’s lacrosse (6-5, 3-5 in the NESCAC) won a hard fought battle against Wesleyan last weekend, 13-8.natalie1

The Ephs snapped a three-game losing streak and took a critical step forward in the hunt for a NESCAC playoff spot. Natalie Gill ’16 buried a close-range shot for the Ephs to open the scoring at 14:47 in the first half.

Gill’s goal appeared to spark the Cardinals as they rallied to tie the game and then took the lead. But the Ephs pulled even with 28.6 seconds left in the half off an impressive effort from tri-captain Bridget Malicki ’15. Margaret Draper ’17 kept the game tied just before the buzzer with a point-blank save. The half finished with the score at 3-3.

The Ephs got their next three goals in the first 1:36 of the second half, one from Gill and two from tri-captain Maeve Mulholland ’15. However, a rocket over Draper’s right shoulder just 22 seconds after Mulholland’s second goal got the Cardinals on the board in the half. Wesleyan scored again off a feed from behind the net to bring them within one.

Gill notched her third goal off a free position shot to restore the Eph advantage. However, the Cardinals soon tied it at 7-7.

Another three-goal spurt, spurred by Nancy Palmer ’15, restored the Eph lead at 10-7. The Ephs saw late goals from tri-captain Becca Bell ’15 and Hilary Cook ’15. Kat Fearey ’18 iced the game with her first collegiate goal.

“We have an incredibly talented team this year, and we knew after three losses we really needed a win,” Bell said. “We played as a team on Saturday, and every player working hard in practice all week contributed to our success. This feels like a great place to jump off from going into the rest of our season – we have a great team chemistry going and we’re really excited for the next few games!”

Earlier in the week, the women lost to Hamilton, who fought back with five goals to claim victory after being down 8-5 with 13 minutes to play.

Hamilton scored first yet the Ephs were quick to respond, however, as Cook scored one minute later. Quality goaltending kept the game 1-1.

Mulholland broke the game’s scoreless streak on a free-position shot. The game endured another eight-minute scoreless streak, largely because of fantastic defensive play by Molly Belk ’16. The Ephs then scored three goals of their own, generating a 5-3 advantage. Malicki, Palmer and Alyssa Amos ‘15 collected the goals to close out the half.

Malicki was quick to open the second half’s scoring at 27:14. She was followed by both Cook and Palmer, at 19:56 and 13:50, respectively.

However, Hamilton exploded for five unaswered goals. Although Gill again found the back of the net, the Ephs ultimately fell 10-9.

Williams also lost to No 12. Amherst, 17-11. In a barnburner of a first half, the Ephs and the Jeffs traded both goals and turnovers. Goals from Gill and Bell put the Ephs on the board, 3-2, forcing an Amherst timeout.

Malicki and Palmer soon gave the Ephs a 5-2 lead. However, the Jeffs had four consecutive goals of their own, taking a 7-5 lead. Despite some physical play, both Bell and Malicki scored, ending the half 7-7.

The Ephs took an 8-7 lead just 29 seconds into the second half on Cook’s free-position shot. Cook found the back of the net again on another free-position attempt, but was penalized for an illegal stick, negating the goal. After the Jeffs scored twice to gain a 9-8 lead, Malicki scored to tie the game at 9-9.

Although Gill gave the Ephs another goal, the Jeffs scored seven times, winning 17-11.

In a hard-fought game against Tufts, Williams could not come back from an 8-6 deficit. Bell was the first Eph to find the back of the net, via Anne Rehfuss ’16 at 8:57. The game remained at 4-1 for several minutes before Gill broke the game’s scoreless stretch at 2:55. The Ephs were down 4-2 at half.

Tufts controlled the opening draw and scored at 29:20 to bring the Jumbo’s lead to three. Shortly thereafter, Bell tallied her second goal. Cook also scored to bring the Ephs to within two.

Down 8-4 with 10 minutes to play, Williams dominated possession, collecting goals from Palmer and Bell. However, Tufts controlled possession, stalling until the game ended at 8-6.

Over the first week of spring break, the Ephs found great success in Washington, D.C. The women took on Catholic University on their last day in D.C. Playing a hard 60 minutes, the Ephs beat No. 13 Catholic, 10-9.

Earlier that week, a game against Union showed the women’s depth. The Ephs walked away with a 17-11 victory.

Against Bates on March 21, the women won 10-9 in overtime. The Ephs defense, particularly Belk and Mahaney Sippel ’15, held strong.  At the start of the second overtime period, Gill controlled the draw and found Malicki, whose goal gave the Ephs a 10-9 lead with 2:38 remaining.

The women host Western New England tomorrow at 5 p.m. and Colby on Saturday at noon in a crucial NESCAC matchup.