May 17, 2014

Colby Downs Williams, 8-6

from press release

DRYDEN, N.Y. --- The tenacity of Abby Hatch, the goalie play of Claire Dickson and Michelle Burt, and a first-year player coming up with two big goals has the Colby College women's lacrosse team in the NCAA Division III Tournament quarterfinal round for the fourth time in five years.

The 11th-ranked Mules (11-6 overall), with two starters out due to injury, held on this time against 10th-ranked Williams College for an 8-6 third round victory at Tompkins Cortland Community College on Saturday. Colby will take on top-ranked and unbeaten Cortland State (21-0) in an NCAA quarterfinal at the same site Sunday at 1 p.m. Webcast and live statistics are available at the following link:

Hatch, an All-Region selection this past week, had one goal, one assist, five draw controls, and four ground balls. She also did the brunt of the work at the end of the game when Colby was trying to run out the clock.

Dickson played the second half and had seven of her nine saves in the first 14:20 of play when the Ephs were trying to cut into a 4-2 lead. Burt also played well, stopping four shots and contributing one caused turnover and one ground ball in the opening half.

With leading goal scorer Lindsey McKenna (40 goals) out with a knee injury, Colby head coach Karen MacCrate Henning predicted this week that someone would step up and help the offense.

Meet first-year attacker Lexie Perticone, who stunned Williams with two straight goals in a 38-second span of the first half to break a 1-1 tie and give Colby some breathing room at 3-1. Perticone came into the game with one goal.

After making the NCAA quarterfinals for three straight years, the Mules missed out last year. Cortland, a 19-3 third round winner over University of Redlands, will be a huge task for Colby. The Mules are looking to make their first NCAA Final Four.

The Mules will need more of the same defense and goalie play against Cortland's high-powered offense (338 goals). Kirsten Karis, another All-Region selection this season and a former All-American, had four caused turnovers and three ground balls. She has eight caused turnovers and eight ground balls in Colby's two NCAA wins in the last eight days.

While Colby had a 10-5 edge in draw controls and a big 13-6 margin in goalie saves, the Mules did struggle bringing the ball up the field. Colby was 13-for-23 in clears and the Mules gave up 11 free-position shots.

In fact, Williams scored four of its six goals on free-position shots. Burt and Dickson were beat just once apiece in regular game action.

Dickson was the difference in the first 15 minutes of the second half. The Mules led 3-2 at halftime and went up 4-2 when Sarah Lux scored the first of her two goals with 23:06 to play.

Dickson made two saves on free-position shots, but her best stop might have come when Rebecca McGovern got some room up the middle and came right in on Dickson with a blast to the ground. Colby's keeper got her feet on it and came up with the ball.

While Dickson was stopping the Ephs at one end of the field, the Mules went up 5-2 when Hatch tallied with 10:25 to go. She was on the left side and a Williams defender slipped while guarding her. Hatch immediately went toward the goal and put the Mules up by three.

Colby lost 10-9 in double overtime to Williams in the regular season meeting. The Ephs scored three times in the final five minutes of regulation to tie the game. Williams gave the Mules a bit of a scare Saturday with two straight goals to make it 5-4. Natalie Gill scored on a free-position with 8:32 to play and Hilary Cook scored from in front off a nice pass from Bridget Malicki with 7:06 to go.

Junior Lindsay McCabe scored the biggest goal in her three years with Colby to stop the run at two and give her team a 6-4 margin with 6:28 remaining. A Williams player went for a steal on the right sideline to allow McCabe to get free and head to the goal with no one in front. She calmly flicked a shot past Eph keeper Ali Piltch.

With Colby playing keep away, Lux came from behind the net and ripped a shot while running from left to right across the goal area with 3:00 to go for a 7-4 lead.

Hatch won her fifth draw control and the Mules got their easiest goal of the game with 1:45 to play. With all the Ephs and Piltch out trying for a turnover, Hatch found Alex Mintz wide open in front for the score.

Williams added two free-position goals in the final 1:19, the first from Jenna Chodus. With just .5 seconds left in the game, Nancy Palmer scored the final goal and the game ended on the play.

In the first half, both teams were exceptional on defense in the opening 10 minutes of scoreless play. Williams took its lone lead of the game when Palmer scored on a free-position with 15:51 left to intermission.

The Mules bounced back with three goals in a span of 1:27 of play. Katharine Eddy, the NESCAC Player of the Year, ripped in a shot from the right side with 7:27 left to tie the contest. Eddy then had her 32nd assist of the season when she found Perticone cutting in front for the nicest goal of the game for the Mules. Peticone then was fouled and converted her free-position shot with 6:00 to play.

After a failed clear by Colby, Williams made it 3-2 at halftime when Malicki scored unassisted with 4:15 remaining.

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