Bantams Stay Perfect on Season
Hartford, Conn. – First-year attacker Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) scored a career-high four goals to lead the Trinity College Bantams to a 12-8 victory over the visiting Tufts University Jumbos in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women’s lacrosse Championship Quarterfinals this afternoon on Robin Sheppard Field. Reigning NCAA Division III Champion Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation, stays perfect through its last 23 games and improves 15-0 overall and 11-0 in the NESCAC. The Jumbos finish their season with a 7-8 overall record and 3-8 league mark.
Trinity relied on a strong first half to get out of the first round, jumping out to a 3-0 lead behind goals by Cox; senior attacker Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.), who scored on a free position shot; and senior tri-captain Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.), who pierced the defense for a point blank shot at net. Tufts rookie midfielder Brigid Bowser (Westborough, Mass.) stopped the bleeding with a goal, before Tufts scored two of the following three goals to cut the Trinity lead to 4-3.
Leonhard, Cox, and sophomore midfielder Renee Olson (Ridgewood, N.J.) scored consecutive goals for Trinity to create some separation, but Tufts junior attacker Gabby Horner Allentown, N.J.) scored with 45 seconds remaining in the opening half, as the teams headed to the break with the score at 7-4 in favor of the Bantams.
Trinity built a 9-4 lead with two quick goals to start the second half, but Tufts put up a fight, outscoring Trinity, 4-3, the rest of the way. Free position goals by Leonhard and junior attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) gave Trinity an 11-6 lead with 5:01 remaining, which was enough insurance to keep Tufts from striking distance, as time wound down to Trinity’s 15th win of the season, tying the Bantams with the 2010 squad for second all-time in wins.
Senior tri-captain Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) made several key stops in goal for Trinity, finishing with eight saves on 15 shots, while Tufts senior Tess Shapanka (Sudbury, Mass.) made three stops in net for the Jumbos. Leonhard finished with three goals for the Bantams, while Tufts senior co-captain Kerry Eaton (Norfolk, Mass.) finished her collegiate career with three goals in the game to lead the Jumbos offensively.
In the NESCAC Semifinal Round, Trinity will face No. 6 Hamilton, who upset No. 3 Bowdoin, 10-9, this afternoon. The game will be played on Saturday, May 4 at noon on Robin Sheppard Field, and will be webcast live at www.trincoll.edu/livevideo.