Middlebury Hands Women's Lacrosse First Loss of Campaign

Sarah Freeman had a team-best three ground balls in Bowdoin's loss to Middlebury
Sarah Freeman had a team-best three ground balls in Bowdoin's loss to Middlebury

BRUNSWICK, Maine - The Middlebury women's lacrosse team handed Bowdoin its first loss of the season in a battle of top-ten squads on Saturday at Ryan Field, 14-8.

The eighth-ranked Panthers improve to 4-1  (3-1 NESCAC) while the third-ranked Polar Bears fall to 6-1 (3-1 NESCAC).

Bridget Instrum scored a game-high four goals for Middlebury to go with an assist. Katie Ritter had three goals and two assists while Mary O'Connell pitched in three scores for the Panthers. Bowdoin was led by two goals apiece from Lindsay Picard, Clare McLaughlin and Mettler Growney. Emma Beecher had a goal and two assists.

A high-scoring first half saw Bowdoin claim an early 2-1 lead, only to have the Panthers roll off a 6-1 run over a stretch of 10:02. Instrum scored three times in the spurt that gave the visitors at 7-3 lead late in the opening half. Bowdoin scored two of the final three goals of the period to trim Middlebury's lead to 8-5 at the break.

The Panthers put the game out of reach early in the second period as they scored four times in a span of 3:09 to widen their lead to 12-5 with under 20 minutes remaining. Bowdoin made a late bid for a comeback, coming as close as 12-8 following a Beecher goal with 9:49 to go. But Middlebury scored the final two goals of the contest to clinch the win.

Madeleine Kinker was outstanding in goal for Middlebury, stopping 14 shots in the victory. Isabel Sippel made seven saves and allowed 12 goals for Bowdoin in 41:58 before giving way to Kayli Weiss, who made one save and permitted two scores over the final 18:02.

Although shots were relatively even (30-27 Middlebury), the Panthers controlled the circle 15-9 thanks to seven draw controls from Hollis Perticone. Laurel Pascal had three caused turnovers in the win for Middlebury. Bowdoin received two caused turnovers from Natalie Moore and a team-best three ground balls from Growney and Sarah Freeman.

Middlebury will return to action on Monday at Roanoke (Va.) at 4:00 p.m. Bowdoin does not play again until next Saturday, March 28, when they host sixth-ranked Trinity at noon.