March 30, 2011

No. 11 Tufts Women Pull Away from Bates

from press release

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 11 nationally ranked Tufts pulled away from an 8-8 tie with three unanswered goals down the stretch, gaining an 11-8 NESCAC win over the Bates women's lacrosse team on Wednesday at Garcelon Field.

Tufts' Casey Egan (Massapequa, NY) scored five goals, doubling her output for the season, to go with one assist to lead the Jumbos (4-2, 3-1 NESCAC). First year Gabby Horner (Allentown, NJ) and junior Stephanie Perez (East Providence, RI) added two goals apiece, and junior Lara Kozin (Suffern, NY) pitched in with a goal and two assists. Junoir Kelly Hyland (Acton, MA) also had a pair of assists.

Bates sophomore Jenn Brallier, this week's NESCAC Player of the Week, had another stellar game with three goals and three assists, for a career-high six points. Briana Gross scored twice, and both Bridget Meedzan and Emily Howe scored once and assisted once.

Sophomore Tess Shapanka (Sudbury, MA) tended goal for Tufts in the second half and earned her first win of the season, making seven saves and allowing just two goals. Senior Sara Bloom (Summit, NJ) started in goal for the Jumbos.

Bates goalie Mara Krueger had seven saves for the Bobcats.

Tufts came out ahead 7-6 after one half of play, shaking off a series of narrow Bates leads: 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 5-3 and 5-4. Perez scored on an assist by Kaitlyn Leidl (Califon, NJ) to tie the game at 5-5 with 7:53 left in the period after Kozin netted her 11th tally of the season at the 9:16 mark. Eaton and Horner both scored again for Tufts at the 4:48 and 2:30 marks for a 4-0 run over a span of 6:44. Gross got one back for Bates, netting her 12th goal of the year on an assist by Meedzan with 1:11 left.

Egan scored three of her goals in the first half, and Brallier scored all three of hers in the opening period as well. The sophomore attacker made a particularly outstanding play after the Jumbos evened the game at 2-2 on Egan's second straight goal. After Sterling Champion (Lighthouse Point, FL) controlled the ensuing draw for Tufts, Brallier, who had assisted on both of Bates' game-opening goals, picked off Champion's pass attempt at midfield and outran the Tufts defense to shoot past Bloom as Bates retook the lead at 3-2.

Bates senior Emily Howe opened the second half with a goal on Brallier's third assist, evening the game at 7-7 with 29:19 to go. Egan answered quickly with another goal, however, after Perez controlled the draw. With 24:09 to go in regulation, Bates junior Caroline Pierce dropped the ball in tight quarters near the Tufts goal, but was able to pick the ball up and quickly flick it past Shapanka to retie the game at 8-8.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Pierce's goal was the team's last, and Tufts outshot Bates 12-10 the rest of the way while outscoring the Bobcats 3-0. The Jumbos finally finished off a possession that included six shots with Horner's second goal of the game with 15:17 left. Bates gained control of the ball after Tufts won the draw control, but three straight Bates shots couldn't cash in, and the Jumbos countered with a one-shot scoring possession on Perez's 13th goal of the season, assisted by Egan, for a 10-8 Tufts lead with 11:21 left, prompting a Bobcats timeout.

An exchange of shots by both teams over the next six minutes ended with Egan's fifth tally, putting the Jumbos in firm control at 11-8 with 5:08 left.

Tufts next plays at Wesleyan on Saturday at noon. Bates will play host to Amherst in another NESCAC game on Saturday at 12 p.m., the second in a four-game homestand for the Bobcats.

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