Trinity Women's Lacrosse Races Past Bates Into Third Straight NESCAC Semis
Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain midfielder Liz Bruno (Andover, Mass.) totaled three goals, two assists, and three draw controls to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 15-4 win over the visiting Bates College Bobcats in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship Quarterfinal action this afternoon on Sheppard Field. Trinity, ranked No. 3 in the nation, moves one step closer to defending its league title while improving to 14-1. Bates ends the year at 7-8 and with its second straight loss.
Top-seeded Trinity, which lost its first game of the year and its first regular-season game in two years, 7-6, to Amherst on Wednesday, advances to its third consecutive NESCAC Semifinals and will host the semifinal and final rounds on Sheppard Field on May 5 and 6. Trinity matches up with No. 7-seeded Hamilton, which upset No. 2-seeded Colby, 9-4, today, on May 5 at noon, while No. 2-seeded Middlebury plays No. 3-seeded Amherst in the other semifinal on Sheppard Field at 2:30 p.m. on Saturday. The finals will be on Sunday, May 6 at noon.
After a Bates goal 1:37 into the game by senior attacker Joan O'Neil (Westwood, Mass.), Trinity rattled off three in a row including the first by sophomore attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) and the last from Kusiak to junior midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.) with 19:14 on the clock. O'Neil struck again for Bates at the 16:42 mark, but Trinity answered with six straight tallies before the break, including the second of the run by Bruno after a spin move in traffic with five seconds on the clock, and another 2:12 into the second half for a 10-2 Bantam lead. Bates senior co-captain midfielder Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) ended a 23:16 scoring drought for the Bobcats on a free-position shot with 23:26 left to play only to see Trinity senior attacker Caite Irvine (Westwood, Mass.) ignite a 5-0 Bantam run with back-to-back goals. Bates sophomore midfielder Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) rounded out the scoring with an unassisted goal at 2:26.
Trinity outshot Bates, 32-to-9, held a 15-to-6 edge on the draw, and forced 21 turnovers while committing 13. Leonhard scored four times and added three draw controls, while Irvine finished with two goals and one assist, and junior attacker Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) contributed a pair of goals. Bantam junior defender Hillary McNamara (Milton, Mass.) was active with a team-high four ground balls to go with an assist, and classmate Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) improved to 11-1 in goal this spring with three saves. Junior defender Linnea Fulton (Bristol, R.I.) scooped four ground balls for Bates, while classmate Eloise O'Connor (Loudonville, N.Y.) made seven saves in the Bobcat cage.