Middlebury edges Colby in NESCAC title game

Contact: William Sodoma
Date: May 6, 2007
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. ­-- The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team won the New England Small College Athletic Conference championship for the seventh straight year, but Colby College made sure it would not be easy this season.

In the closest NESCAC final ever in the seven-year postseason history of the league, Middlebury took a 10-8 win over the Mules in the league title game Sunday on Kohn Field. The game was tied at 8-8 before the third-ranked Panthers (14-1) scored two goals in the final 6:44 of play.

The top-seeded Panthers, who received the automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Tournament, came out strong and led 3-0 after less than 13 minutes of play. Colby (12-5), seeded fourth, battled back with two straight unassisted goals by Libba Cox (Guilford, Conn.) and Kate Sheridan (Hingham, Mass.). After another Middlebury goal with 5:44 left to halftime, Colby’s Courtney Drake (Falmouth, Maine) tallied with four minutes remaining to make it 4-3 at the break.

The eighth-ranked Mules charged hard out of halftime with two straight goals to take a 5-4 lead. Becky Julian (South Windsor, Conn.) scored off an assist from defender Liz Morbeck (Seattle, Wash.), while Lauren Barrett (Fairfield, Conn.) had an unassisted goal with 24:19 remaining.

Middlebury tallied with 22:04 and 20:15 left in the game, but Cox got the Mules tied up at 6-6 when she scored with 19:12 left off a pass from Sheridan. Middlebury once again hit for two straight goals, this time with 14:33 and 13:05 remaining.

The Mules, who were in the NESCAC title game for the first time, refused to shut down and tied the game with another two-goal run. Sheridan scored with 12:46 remaining and Cox got another goal with 11:21 to go. Kim Walker (Ridgewood, N.J.) had unassisted goals with 6:44 and three minutes remaining for the Panthers.

Cox finished with three goals and one assist for Colby, which had its seven-game win streak snapped. Sheridan had two goals and one assist. Walker was most of the offense for Middlebury with six goals and one assist.

Colby goalie Catharine O’Brien (Reading, Vt.) and Middlebury keeper Blair Bowie (Washington, D.C.) were each credited with 11 saves.

Middlebury 10, Colby 8

Colby 3#5-------8

Middlebury 4#6------10

Goals-Assists: Colby: Libba Cox 3-1, Kate Sheridan 2-1, Lauren Barrett 1-0, Becky Julian 1-0, Courtney Drake 1-0, Liz Morbeck 0-1. Middlebury: Kim Walker 6-1, Liza Humes 1-2, Claire Edelen 2-0, Katherine Entwisle 1-0, Mimi Schatz 0-1.

Shots: Colby 22, Middlebury 26. Goalies Catharine O’Brien (Colby, 60 minutes, 10 GA, 11 saves); Blair Bowie, 60 minutes, 8 GA, 11 saves).

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