Women's Lacrosse Suffers Crushing Overtime Loss to In-Conference Rivals
Issue   |   Wed, 04/06/2016 - 00:41

Despite a stellar effort from Amherst goalie Christy Forrest ’16, the women’s lacrosse team fell to Middlebury, 8-7, at Pratt Field on Saturday, April 2 in a thrilling overtime game. The game remained tight throughout its duration. Middlebury attacker Bridget Instrum opened up the scoring a little under six minutes into the first half. Amherst’s Claire Cagnassola ’17 was quick to respond and found the back of the Middlebury net just over a minute later. Cagnassola continued the offensive momentum, scoring the purple and white’s second goal at the 16:34 mark to give Amherst a 2-1 lead. Instrum provided the Middlebury equalizer off a free position shot less than a minute later. Mia Haughton ’16 restored Amherst’s lead with an unassisted goal. However, the lead proved short-lived with Middlebury’s Laurel Pascal responding 37 seconds later.

With the game tied at 3-3 with 6:51 left in the half, the purple and white put on an impressive strategic performance; the ball remained in the offensive quarter of the field until Haughton’s beautifully timed goal with just 53 seconds left on the clock gave Amherst a 4-3 lead going into halftime.

The second half of the contest proved very similar to the first. Amherst came out strong with Cagnassola netting her third goal of the game off a free position shot fewer than three minutes into the half. Middlebury’s Pascal took little time to answer and bring the Panther’s back within one goal of the purple and white. However, a relentless Cagnassola extended Amherst’s lead again with 22 minutes left in regulation. The Panthers, refusing to give up, scored two goals within a five-minute time span courtesy of Emma McDonagh and Hollis Perticone. Haughton scored her third goal of the game with 12:14 remaining to give Amherst a tight 7-6 lead.

Middlebury’s Megan Griffin kept her team in the game by providing the equalizer at the 10:34 mark. Before the end of regulation, Amherst was unable to capitalize a free position shot. Forrest then made two critical stops with less than 10 seconds left in the half to help her team survive into overtime. The short overtime period was dominated by the Panthers’ offense, and Instrum scored the winning goal less than two minutes into the overtime period.

The team posted an outstanding effort against an undefeated Middlebury team. Cagnassola and Haughton proved formidable offensive forces with four and three goals, respectively. Rachel Passarelli ’16 was also instrumental in the offensive effort with two assists. Coco Kusiak ’17 and Cagnassola provided an assist each.

Forrest led the team with six groundballs in addition to two caused turnovers. Rowena Schenck ’18 led the defensive line with two caused turnovers. Despite the heartbreaking loss, the purple and white were proud of their performance.

Schenck said, “Although I’m obviously disappointed about the outcome, I think the fact that we took the No. 2 team in the country to overtime showed how much potential this team has and what we are capable of achieving as we move forward with our season.”

With the loss to Middlebury, Amherst’s record stands at 5-2 overall and 2-2 in NESCAC play. The team returns to Pratt Field this Wednesday evening at 6 p.m. to continue in conference play against Wesleyan. They will then travel to Colby on Saturday for a game at noon against the eighth-ranked Mules.