Springfield, Mass. - March 4, 2018 - Despite holding a 3-1 advantage late in the contest, the Springfield College women's lacrosse team fell to nationally-ranked Middlebury College, 7-3 on Sunday afternoon on Stagg Field.
With the loss, the Pride is now 2-1 on the year, while Middlebury, which was ranked No. 4 in the latest Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association (IWLCA) Division III National Rankings, earns its second win of the weekend to improve to 2-0. The Panthers scored six unanswered goals in the final 11:47 of the contest to overcome a 3-1 deficit and escape with a four-point win over the Pride.
In net for Springfield, Brenna Keefe (Acton, Mass.) was sensational, as the sophomore turned in a 16-save performance, while holding Middlebury to just 2-for-7 on its free-position chances. Middlebury's Julia Keith (North Andover, Mass.) finished with three saves in the win. Also contributing on the defensive end for the maroon and white was Taylor Kane (Woburn, Mass.) and Kristen Steidler (Somers, Conn.), who caused five turnovers apiece, while Kane also pulled down a team-best three draw controls. Freshman defender Abby Wylie (Ellington, Conn.) picked up a game-high eight ground balls in the setback.
The Panthers held a 30-9 shot advantage over the course of 60 minutes, including a 20-7 margin in the second half, as Middlebury also owned a 35-26 advantage in ground balls and forced 36 turnovers from the Pride. Springfield College was able to secure eight draw controls to the Panthers' four.
Scoring for the Pride was Ann Mahoney (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.), Kate Sarnacki (Granby, Mass.) and Shelby Corsano (Bourne, Mass.), while the Panthers were led by three points from Emma McDonagh (Reading, Mass), totaling a goal and two assists. Georgia Carroll (Lutherville, Md.) also notched a pair of goals in the final 4:01 of the game.
Springfield College got on the board first as a Middlebury foul inside the arch resulted in a free-position shot for Mahoney, who was able to find the back of the net to give the Pride a 1-0 lead. At the 12:47 mark, the Panthers looked to pull even when Emily Barnard (Wayland, Mass.) was granted a free-position chance, but Keefe made a great save to keep Middlebury off the board.
Middlebury tied it up at the 6:25 mark when McDonagh found a cutting Jenna McNicholas (Westport, Conn.), who was able to catch the feed and tuck a shot into the top left corner of the net, making it 1-1, heading into the halftime break.
Springfield College opened the second half with a goal from Sarnacki just 1:13 into the frame, before Kayla Schroeher (Riverhead, N.Y.) found a cutting Corsano for an easy catch-and-finish, making it 3-1 Pride with 22:05 to play in the first half.
Keefe continued to play phenomenal in the second as she stuffed a free-position chance from Hollis Perticone (Darien, Conn.) at the 14:27 mark, before coming up with another big stop on Perticone with 12:58 to play. After a Springfield College turnover, Middlebury found Henley Hall (Denver, Colo.) at the midfield, who dodged through the entire Pride defense before finding the back of the net to cut the Panthers' deficit to one, before McDonagh tied it at three with a free-position goal with 9:48 remaining.
From there, it was all Middlebury, as the Panthers received a goal from Perticone at the 8:26 mark to take a one-goal lead, before the visitors extended their lead to a pair on a goal from Kirsten Murphy (Bridgewater, N.J.) with 6:30 to play. Carroll would then score two late to seal the 7-3 win for Middlebury.
Up next, Springfield College will return to Stagg Field on Tuesday, March 6 when the Pride hosts Framingham State at 5 p.m.