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Middlebury lacrosse advances to NCAA semifinals - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Middlebury lacrosse advances to NCAA semifinals

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

The Middlebury women's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA final four for the 15th time after a 10-8 win over #12 York (15-6) in the NCAA Regional Finals at Gettysburg. The sixth-ranked Panthers (16-3) will take on Cortland State in an NCAA semifinal game on Saturday, May 23rd in Philadelphia.

Middlebury got on the board first when Katie Ritter took advantage of a turnover and drove 10 yards to the goal for her 39th of the season. York tied the game when Katelyn Cattrano scored on a free position from the top of the circle with a shot to the top right corner at the 18:23 mark. The Spartans took their first lead of the game on another free position goal, this one a bouncer from Sarah Castle. The Panthers tied the game following a restart as Mary O'Connell quickly fed Bridget Instrum, who bounced a shot past Rachel Donovan to make it a 2-2 game with 15:26 on the clock. York regained the lead at the 14:25 mark when Jayme Verman found Cattrano open in front as she beat Panther keeper Katie Mandigo.

The Panthers responded with a 5-0 run, taking a 7-3 lead with 3:46 left in the half. O'Connell opened the surge, as she quickly turn and shot to put her team up 3-2. Instrum scored on a spin move down low, before Laurel Pascal drove down the middle and netted her team-leading 44th goal for a 5-2 lead at the 11:24 mark. Those three goals came in a 2:04 span.

The run continued when Hollis Perticone cut across the top of the zone and scored with 7:21 remaining. O'Connell converted a free position goal with a sidearm bouncer from the right side to make it a 7-3 game at the intermission.

Middlebury held a 14-9 shots advantage at the half, controlling much of the possession with an 8-3 advantage in draw controls.

York opened the second half with a goal from Verman after a lengthy possession. Instrum scored minutes later, cutting to the front from the side of the goal to make it an 8-4 game with 22:38 remaining. O'Connell also scored her third of the contest just under three minutes later, converting a free position from the top of the circle with a sling shot. Verman kept the Spartans in the game with 17:51 left to play, cutting the lead with 9-5. Allison Kolacy earned her second-straight assist at 9:40, feeing Kelly Curran for a goal to cut the lead to 9-6.

Middlebury maintained possession for several minutes, aided by a yellow card assessed to York. Following a Panther timeout, Middlebury gave itself a comfortable 10-6 lead with 3:22 remaining on the fourth of the game from Instrum. Megan Griffin made a nice feed from the right side to Instrum in the middle, who quickly beat Donovan for the goal.

York made a late surge with a pair of goals by Kolacy and Lily Damalouji in the final two minutes, but time ran out, as the Panthers emerged with the victory.

Instrum added an assist to go along with her game-high four goals to lead the Panthers. O'Connell finished with three goals and one assist, while three other players tallied solo goals. Catherine Fowler earned four draw controls as the Panthers held a 12-8 edge in that category. Maggie Caputi finished with a game-high five ground balls. Mandigo was solid in goal, making a career-best nine saves.

Verman and Cattrano led York with two goals apiece. Castle had a goal and four draw controls in the contest, as Donavan finished with seven saves.

Courtesy: Middlebury Ahtletics

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