MIDDLEBURY, Vt. (WCAX) For the second consecutive year, third time in four seasons, and tenth time overall, the Middlebury Panthers are women's lacrosse champions of the NESCAC after the Panthers edged Tufts by the final of 10-9 Sunday afternoon at Kohn Field.
Things were looking dire for the Panthers early in the second half after the Jumbos used a 4-0 run to turn a one-goal deficit into a three-goal lead. But Middlebury head coach Kate Livesay used one of her timeouts to stem the tide, and the Panthers rallied from there.
Middlebury senior Emma McDonagh and sophomore Kirsten Murphy each had a pair of goals in the win, but it was freshman Jane Earley who led the way. Earley posted an astounding five goals and three assists to rally the Panthers back.
It was the second time this year Midd had beaten Tufts by a 10-9 scoreline and the win was the Panthers' 17th in a row after a season-opening loss to Bates.
The Panthers earned hosting duties and a first round bye in the NCAA Tournament by virtue of their strong season. Middlebury will play the winner of Saturday's contest between Morrisville State and Johnson & Wales on Sunday at Kohn Field.