DRYDEN, NY -- You would expect the 2014 Williams College women's lacrosse team to fight until the final second.
After all, the Ephs made a habit of that all season long. They did it again Saturday, but this time it wasn't enough, as conference rival Colby received sensational games from goalkeepers Michelle Burt and Janice Dickson and held off Williams, 8-6, in a NCAA Div. III Tournament Third Round Game played at Tompkins-Cortland Community College.
"I was very happy with the way we played today," Eph head coach Chris Mason said. "Honestly, that was probably our best game of the season. We beat them in nearly every category, except draw controls and on the scoreboard. Their two goalies were the difference today."
Neither team could score for the first 14 minutes of the game, but Eph junior nancy palmer converted a free-position attempt at 15:51 to give Williams a 1-0 lead. It about as good a defensive effort on both sides in the first half. Ali Piltch made two saves for the Ephs, both critical, and Burt made four for the Mules.
Colby's Lexi Perticone scored twice in 38 seconds to help the Mules go into halftime up 3-2.
The defense continued in the second half, but it was more of Dickson then anything else. Williams had several good chances to score in the first 15 minutes of the half, but the Colby goalie came up big time and time again.
In the mean time, Colby's Sarah Lux and Abby Hatch were able to sneak shots past Piltch, each unassisted and both on virtually the same play, curling around a defender on the left side of the Ephs' goal, creating space in front and slipping a shot into the goal.
Hatch's goal made it 5-2 Colby with 10:25 remaining in the game, but the Ephs would not go quietly into the good night. With 8:32 to go, Natalie Gill beat Dickson with a free-position shot to make it 5-3. Colby won the ensuing draw control, but Aluyssa Amos made a great steal at midfield and Mason called a quick timeout.
Coming out of the timeout, Bridget Malick gained control on the left side of the Colby goal and flicked a quick and accurate pass to Hilary Cook, who bounced a shot past Dickson to make it 5-4 with only 7:06 remaining,
However, Colby once again won the draw control and quickly went downfield. Lindsey McCabe found some room and scored her ninth goal of the season to make it 6-4. Lux and Alex Mintz added goals for Colby to make it 8-4 before Jenna Chodus scored for Williams with 1:19 left and Palmer netted her second goal of the game with a tenth of a second remaining to account for the final score.
"Obviosuly today wasn't a success because we didn't win, but I'm happy we finished the season playing as well as we did today," Mason said. "We did as well as we could and it didn't go our way. That's all we can ask as coaches, that they give their best and I think they did. You want to make the other team doing something great to beat you and I thought Colby's goalkeepers were great today. They are a very good team."
Dickson made nine saves in win for Colby and combined with Burt for 13. Piltch made four saves in the second half, finishing with six. The Ephs outshot Colby 31-19 in the game, turned the ball over only 14 times to Colby's 20, and were a perfect 18 of 18 in clear attempts. They also had 18 groundballs to the Mules 15.
Williams finished its season 14-5. Colby imrpoved to 11-6 and will face No. 1 Cortland State (21-0) Sunday at 1 p.m. in a NCAA Quarterfinal.