Sunday, March 4, 2018

Bates Women's lacrosse drops home opener 12-5 to NCAA finalist Middlebury

Liv Sandford and Bates women's lacrosse fell 12-5 to Middlebury in the Bobcats' home opener on March 3, 2018. (Theophil Syslo/Bates College)
LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 4 nationally ranked Middlebury scored the first seven goals of its season-opening game en route to a 12-5 NESCAC victory over the Bates women's lacrosse team Saturday at Garcelon Field.

The Panthers (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC), playing in their first game since falling in the 2017 NCAA Division III Championship game, held the host Bobcats (2-1, 0-1 NESCAC) 15 goals under their season scoring average entering the game despite a 26-24 advantage in shots attempted by Bates.
Middlebury goalie Julia Keith made nine saves in a big performance for the visitors, while Georgia Carroll paced the Panther attack with three goals and four assists.

Bates first-year Summer Dias (Newton, Mass.) scored three goals in her second hat trick of her young rookie season.

Evie Keating collected four of Middlebury's 15 caused turnovers and scooped a team-high five ground balls, playing a huge factor in thwarting Bates from earning quality scoring chances. Emma Johns and Casey O'Neill caused three turnovers apiece for the Panthers.

Middlebury got out to a lead 84 seconds in, on the first shot attempted of the game, as Carroll dished to O'Neill for the finish in close.

Bates junior goalie Eliza Statile (Ipswich, Mass.) stopped a close-range shot from Carroll eight minutes into the game, but Carroll picked up the rebound and refired for the game's second goal. Middlebury thwarted back-to-back free-position attempts, then made it 3-0 as Grace Getman assisted Kirsten Murphy with 18:52 to go in the half.

Middlebury's Hollis Perticone won the ensuing draw, drove down the middle and fed Murphy for a second goal, only 11 seconds later, to make it 4-0.

Perticone scored an 8-meter goal with 14:03 left in the half, before Carroll assisted back-to-back Middlebury goals by DiCenso and Perticone, for a 7-0 Middlebury lead with 3:24 left in the opening half.

In the final minute of the half, Dias broke up a Middlebury clear, forcing the turnover and collecting the ball at midfield, then drove solo to the cage to put Bates on the scoreboard, making it a 7-1 game at intermission.

Carroll struck again for Middlebury with the first goal of the second half, 88 seconds in.

After a six-minute scoreless stretch, Dias scored from close range at a tight angle, taking a short pass over the Middlebury goal from sophomore Avery MacMullen (New Haven, Conn.), to make it 8-2.
But Carroll responded less than a minute later on an assist from Emma McDonagh, and the Panthers made it 11-2 over the next 10 minutes on an unasssted score from Getman, followed by Emily Barnard's goal from a Carroll assist.

Dias scored a free-position goal, Bates' lone 8-meter goal on eight chances, to close the gap to 11-3 with 10:09 left. Middlebury's Henley Hall made it a nine-goal game again with 5:59 to go, on an assist from DiCenso. Bates closed out the game with goals by senior captains Allison Dewey (Vergennes, Vt.) and Camille Belletete (Jaffrey, N.H.), with junior Sydney Howard (Ashland, Mass.) assisting on Belletete's tally.

Belletete controlled a game-high five draws for Bates, and tied Statile for the team lead with five ground balls. Statile also made five saves, while sophomore Liv Sandford (Kennebunk, Maine), sophomore Caroline Kerrigan (Falls Church, Va.) and first-year Avery Prince (Chevy Chase, Md.) caused two turnovers apiece to pace the Bobcat defense.

Bates will host Babson in a non-conference game Wednesday at 5pm.

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