WILLIAMSTOWN, MA—The Williams Ephs (6-8 / 2-7 NESCAC) took the field today for their last regular season game, a match against the Middlebury Panthers (12-2 / 8-1 NESCAC). The game was high activity, and ended with a definitive 18-6 win for the visiting team.
Though the Ephs put out a strong competition, Middlebury gained an early advantage in this game. The match began with 4 consecutive Panther goals from 4 different players. The game-opening goal came from senior Hollis Perticone, who got the first turnover and took it directly to the net, sending the ball in just 10 seconds from the beginning of play. Her teammates picked up on this momentum and continued the powerful offensive.
When competition had been going on for 10 minutes, the Ephs retaliated with a tally of their own. After first-year Sophia Millay won draw control, she took the ball down the field and passed to sophomore Kara Wollmers. Wollmers sent the ball to first-year Claire Fitzpatrick in front of the goal, who sent a pass to senior Caroline Hogan. All the fast passing resulted in a goal for Williams when Hogan netted the ball off her assist from Fitzptrick.
The next goal was another Ephs score, a fast clear off a saved Middlebury shot. First-year Meghan Halloran took the ground ball off the saved shot and brought the ball down the field, passing to Millay who whipped it into the net.
The Ephs did not score again this half, but the Panthers put 5 more tallies on the board. These goals were scored by 5 different players. The half ended with Middlebury leading 9-2.
The teams returned from their half-time break, and Middlebury was quickly back on the offensive. Three minutes in, sophomore Emily Barnard took a high shot from close to goal, netting her team's tenth point without an assist. The Ephs quickly hit back with another Millay goal. Off of an assist from Fitzpatrick, she sent the ball high into the net. This was followed by another Williams tally at 24:30, a goal from first-year Olivia Gomez with first-year Kailie Saudek on the assist.
Middlebury netted another goal, answered quickly by Williams. The Panthers then proceeded to score three more times consecutively, with three different players scoring.
The final Eph goal for the game came when there were 13 minutes of play remaining. Millay, for the fourth time in this game, netted the ball. The Ephs were playing man-up when Halloran got control of the ball and passed it to teammate Millay. Millay sent the ball powerfully into goal, putting Williams up to 6 on the scoreboard.
The Panthers netted four more goals before the end of the game, playing the last 11 minutes under a running clock due to the substantial lead. Once again, this spurt of scoring was representative of the diverse offensive power on the team, as all four goals were scored by different players. The game's final goal was off a shot by junior Jenna McNicholas. She led her team in scoring today, posting her fourth and final tally at the 3:35 mark. She was given the assist by junior teammate Sara DiCenso. This was the Panthers' 18th score for the game.
The Panthers led for shots on goal 20-9 and draw controls 17-9. The Ephs had the highest number of groundball pickups, posting 19 to their opponents' 17.
In addition to ground ball pickups, Head Coach Lee commented that the team's "senior defenders did a nice job carrying the ball and being that transition where we needed it." Senior Midfield Caroline Hogan was also cited as playing a crucial role as an outlet. The coach saw particular strength in her team "between the 30s, on the transition, and on the ride" as well.
On the Middlebury side, time in goal was split between sophomore Julia Keith and junior Kate Furber. Keith made 2 saves and allowed 2 goals during the game's first half, and Furber made 1 save and allowed 4 goals in the second half. For the Ephs, goal-time was shared between sophomore Kami Cisneros and junior Ana Alvarenga. Both goalkeepers made 1 save and allowed 9 goals during their respective halves.
Three yellow cards were given during the game, all to Middlebury players.
Tonight's game was played as a "Team Molly" game by both teams. "Team Molly" games are played as a way to raise awareness and funds for Ewing Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. This organization was founded in honor of former Buffalo State University women's lacrosse player Molly Seifritz, who lost her battle to the disease in 2013. "Team Molly" T-shirts were sold and worn by both teams during warm-ups, and all proceeds went to the foundation.
This game was also the last competition of the season for the Ephs. Coach Lee said, "It's been a really good season. The girls have worked tirelessly from start to finish." Never was that tireless effort more visible than in this final game. Though down by multiple points from the beginning, the Ephs never slowed down on the field tonight. The Williams players were putting out their best through the very end. Within the final 2 minutes, 2 Eph shots were taken, one a shot on goal by senior Olivia Polk. Though their plays did not garner the team success on the scoreboard tonight, the coach commented, "I could not have asked for a better effort." No matter what happens on the field, Lee went on to say, "we always play as a team, as a family, win or lose."