Colby used a strong defensive effort to knock off seventh-ranked Middlebury 14-11 on Kohn Field. The 13th-ranked Mules (7-5, 5-4) wrap up their regular season at Bates on Wednesday, while the Panthers (10-4, 6-3) will visit Williams on the same day.
The stingy Colby defense allowed Middlebury to clear the ball on just six of its 14 attempts (.428), while forcing 17 turnovers. Middlebury held a 17-10 edge draw controls, while the Mules won 15 of 21 ground balls on the afternoon.
Trailing 1-0, Middlebury ran off three goals in just under four minutes to take a 3-1 lead 6:10 into the game. Megan Griffin scored the final two goals of the spurt, converting nice feeds from Delaina Smith and Katie Ritter.
Colby responded with a pair of goals in 38 seconds to knot the game at 3-3. Lindsey McKenna scored on a pass from behind the net by Sarah Lux, before Katharine Eddy found the back of the net after taking a pass from Abby Hatch.
Middlebury regained the lead on a goal from Laurel Pascal at the 22:08 mark, as she received a crafty pass from Liza Herzog from behind the net. The goal was the fourth for the Panthers in their first five shots.
Colby stormed back with three straight tallies, including a free position goal by Eddy to give her team a 6-4 lead with 16:12 left in the half. The Mules later led 9-6 before the Panthers scored the final two goals of the first half to find themselves trailing 9-8 at the intermission.
Herzog cut around the cage and scored, before Ritter converted a free position to give Middlebury a 10-9 lead 4:37 into the second half.
Colby answered with a decisive 5-0 run over the next 11:27 to take a 14-10 lead with 9:37 remaining. McKenna scored the first two goals of the run, taking advantage of a free position before cutting to the goal and receiving a great feed from Lux.
Lindsay McCabe scored in transition after a failed clear, with an assist from Eddy, while Dana Swaffield took a long pass from Lux and converted from point-blank range. McKenna netted her third goal of the run after a lengthy possession, as Swaffield found her cutting to the goal.
Middlebury had a quick answer at the 8:16 mark when Alli Sciarretta scored on a pass from Ritter, but that would be the game’s final goal. Colby controlled much of the possession for the remainder of the game, taking time off the clock.
Griffin paced Middlebury with three goals, while Herzog, Ritter, Pascal and Sciarretta had two apiece. Herzog and Catherine Fowler each had five draw controls in the contest. Alyssa Palomba played the first 18:07, while Katie Mandigo made a pair of saves in 41:43.
McKenna led all scorers with five goals, Eddy had three with three helpers, while Lux dished out four assists. Michelle Burt and Claire Dickson each made three saves in 30 minutes of action.