April 9, 2009

34th Time's The Charm: Union Beats Middlebury

from press releases

SCHENECTADY, N.Y. - For the first time in the long and storied history of matchups between Union College and Middlebury College in women's lacrosse, the Dutchwomen defeated the Panthers Thursday. No. 15 Union downed No. 8 Middlebury, 12-8, as Middlebury had won all 33 previous meetings in the series that began on April 30, 1976. Kristin Joyce (Longmeadow, MA) scored five goals and Jill LaForest (Acton, MA) scored four to lead the Dutchwomen, now 6-2. Middlebury fell to 5-3.

Union goaltender Cat Ruggiero (Huntington, NY) made 13 saves, including eight in the first half, which ended in a 4-4 deadlock. Middlebury slightly outshot Union, 26-25. Panther goaltender Blair Bowie (Washington, DC) made seven saves for the guests.

Union also got two goals from Chelsea Charette (South Hadley, MA) and a single score from Allie Cuozzo (Norfolk, MA). Middlebury was led by Dana Heritage (Cheshire, CT), who scored three goals while the Panthers had single tallies from Chase Delano (Greenwich, CT), Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, NJ), Stephanie Gill (Hingham, MA), Elizabeth Garry (Mamaroneck, NY) and Kate Barton (Cape Elizabeth, ME). The Dutchwomen had 26 ground balls to the Panthers' 21, and Middlebury converted 13 of 15 clears while Union converted 12 of 15.

The Dutchwomen opened the scoring with Joyce's 23rd just 1:01 into the game, and Ryan tallied at 27:14 to tie it. Union scored the next two but the Panthers tied it at 3-3 with 8:21 left. Both teams traded goals to end the half. Union stormed out to an 8-4 lead with the first four goals of the second stanza. Joyce and LaForest scored at 27:37 and 27:02, and Charette (her 16th) and Joyce again provided the four goal advantage with 17:48 remaining. But Heritage scored the next two at 16:30 and 14:44 to pull the Panthers to within two. 

At 11:54, Joyce took a quick feed in front from Charette to make it 9-6, but Garry's 16th at 34 seconds later once again made it a two goal contest. LaForest took a high shot to the top corner at 9:23 to regain the three goal lead, only to be followed by Delano's 20th of the year at 8:46. But the Dutchwomen got insurance on Cuozzo's 13th at 6:15 and iced it with the 11th of the year from LaForest with 3:08 remaining.

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