Women's Lacrosse Falls Behind Early, Can't Overcome Middlebury in Top-Ten Clash

Mackenzie Schleicher had three goals in Saturday's loss
Mackenzie Schleicher had three goals in Saturday's loss

BRUNSWICK, Maine - Ellen Halle scored five goals and added three assists to lift the Middlebury College women's lacrosse team to a 15-10 win over Bowdoin in battle of top-ten squads Saturday at Ryan Field.

The fourth-ranked Panthers remain unbeaten at 7-0 (4-0 NESCAC) while the eighth-ranked Polar Bears drop their first game of the season and fall to 5-1 (4-1 NESCAC).

Halle sparked the Panther offense with her game-high eight points and scored twice on free-position shots in the win. Emma Kramer scored three goals while Margaret Souther and Michaela Colbert had two apiece for Middlebury.

Bowdoin was led by three goals from both Mackenzie Schleicher and Jordan Smith. Carolyn Gorajek had two goals and two assists for the Polar Bears, who also received 13 saves from Tara Connolly.

The Panthers jumped ahead early, as five different players scored in the opening 10:35 as the visitors stormed to a 6-2 advantage. Kramer opened the scoring and capped the run for Middlebury. The game settled into a back-and-forth affair after that, with the teams trading goals over the final 10:33 of the period. Gorajek's first goal of the afternoon for Bowdoin made it a 9-5 Panther lead at halftime.

After Halle opened the second frame with a goal at 25:36, Bowdoin responded with a 3-1 surge oer the next three minutes, trimming the Panther lead to 11-8 with 22:06 to go on Gorajek's second tally of the day. Bowdoin had a sustained possession immediately following, and had several chances to cut into the lead further, but the Middlebury defense locked down the Polar Bears to maintain the three-goal advantage.

Kramer and Halle answered with goals for the Panthers at 14:19 and 11:13, respectively, to push the advantage back to five goals and help seal the win.

Alyssa Palomba made four saves in goal for Middlebury, who got six draw controls from Liza Herzog. Souther had three ground balls and two caused turnovers for the Panthers while Hannah Deoul added two caused turnovers and two ground balls defensively.

Bowdoin's Natalie Moore and Genna Warner each had three caused turnovers, but Bowdoin committed 19 turnovers as a team compared to just 10 for Middlebury. The Panthers also held a 29-21 advantage in shots and went 4-5 on free-position chances.

The Polar Bears will return to action tomorrow afternoon when they host Williams at 1:00 p.m. Middlebury will play at Hamilton on Wednesday evening at 5:00 p.m.