The Middlebury women's lacrosse team got back on track Wednesday, handing ninth-ranked Williams (12-3, 7-3) a 12-4 loss in Williamstown. The eighth-ranked Panthers (11-4, 7-3) have earned home field for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will host a quarterfinal game at noon on Saturday, as will the Ephs.
Middlebury dominated play throughout the first half, leading 9-1 at the end of 30 minutes. The Panthers quickly gained the lead with three goals in just over five minutes of play. Katie Ritter got the Panthers on the board with an unassisted goal at the 28:39 mark. Over the course of the next 23 minutes, Alli Sciarretta and Liza Herzog netted two goals each, and Laurel Pascal netted three to give the Panthers an eight-goal lead over the Ephs.
Herzog evaded her defender to get open in front of the goal and netted the seventh goal for the Panthers off a feed from Mary O’Connell. Just over 30 seconds later the Panthers scored again in the same fashion, this time with a goal from Pascal off a feed from O’Connell with 4:04 remaining in the half.
Despite some offensive chances, Williams was not able to convert any goals, as goalie Alyssa Palomba stopped several first-half shots. With 1:51 remaining in the half, Rebecca Bell got the Ephs on the board when she charged to the net and scored.
Middlebury responded with a late goal on a free position from Ritter with just one second left in the half.
The Panthers continued to dominate second-half play, pulling their attack out wide and forcing the Williams defense to pressure on ball. The Panthers were able to draw fouls and capitalized on two free position opportunities, gaining a 10-goal lead over the Ephs with 18:37 remaining, 11-1.
Bell netted her second of the game for the Ephs, while Stephanie Gallo scored on a free position goal just over six minutes later.
Sciarretta earned her third of the contest with 10:17 remaining, before Williams’ Hilary Cook scored the game’s final tally with 6:20 on the clock to make it a 12-4 final.
Pascal led the Panthers with four goals, Sciarretta had three with an assist, while Herzog and Ritter each scored twice. Catherine Fowler and Hannah Deoul each had four draw controls, while Palomba made eight saves in goal.
Bell’s two goals paced Williams, as Ali Piltch made seven stops between the pipes.