On Saturday, Apr. 16, Colby Women’s Lacrosse lost to the Middlebury Panthers 17–5. Both teams entered the matchup on winning streaks, the Mules having won their last nine games and the Panthers having yet to drop a game, sitting atop the NESCAC standings with a 12–0 record.
Middlebury is a familiar rival for the Mules, who looked for revenge following an NCAA Tournament loss to the Panthers last May. Both teams are among the best in the nation, with Middlebury ranked first in the country and Colby ranked twelfth in the most recent US Lacrosse Rankings. As a result, the Mules have played one of the hardest schedules of any Division III team, with over half of their opponents earning a national ranking.
The Panthers lived up to their reputation in the first quarter, scoring the first five goals of the game, two of which were scored by Hope Shue. Elizabeth Hennessey `23 broke the ice for the Mules with a free-position score with 4:19 remaining in the first, followed by a Julia Jardina `25 goal, bringing the score to 5–2. Hennessey and Jardina have been among the Mules’ top scorers this season, tallying twenty-five and seventeen goals, respectively.
At the beginning of the second quarter, Shue restarted the Panthers’ momentum, scoring five more times in a ten-goal Middlebury run. Shue, a sophomore from Dover, MA, has been a standout in her two years at Middlebury, recording fifty-six goals last season, an impressive mark that she is on pace to exceed this season, having scored thirty-nine times already.
Penalties were an issue for the Mules, as Middlebury produced two of their goals from three player-up opportunities.
The Mules fought back in the fourth quarter, matching Middlebury’s total of three goals in the period with a score from Cami McDonald `24 and two from Annie Eddy `23. This late burst was not enough, however, and the game ended with a score of 17–5. Middlebury’s defense was stifling all game, allowing only two goals from open play—the remainder of the Mules’ scores came from free-position shots.
Standouts for the Mules includedIzzy Wang `26 and Paige Saudek `26, who each recorded a pair of ground balls, as well as goalkeeper Jillian Kane `25, who made three saves in the second half.
Going forward, the Mules have the upcoming week off before concluding their regular season with NESCAC matchups at home against Trinity and Bates on Apr. 22 and 26. The Bates game will have additional significance for the Mules, as they will have the chance to clinch the CBB title (Colby, Bates, Bowdoin) after beating Bowdoin last week. After the regular season, the Mules will compete in the NESCAC Tournament and look to earn a second consecutive NCAA Tournament berth.
~ Julian Cangieter-Hernandez `25