Hartford, Conn. - Sophomore Clare Lyne (Concord, Mass.) highlighted a 5-0 Bantam run to end the game with two goals, including the game-winner with 14:49 left, to give the Trinity College women's lacrosse team an 11-10 win over the visiting Williams College Ephs in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Quarterfinals this afternoon on Sheppard Field. Trinity, ranked No. 1 in the nation and seeded No. in the tournament, improves to 15-1 with its 15th victory in a row and will face the Tufts University Jumbos in the semifinals next Saturday at home. Middlebury will play Bowdoin in the other semifinal at Trinity, and Saturday's winners will play for the league title and an automatic bid to the NCAA Division III Championship Tournament on Sunday, May 3 on Sheppard Field. Trinity, which trailed by more than a single goal in the second half for the first time this spring, has won the league tourney the last four seasons.
"We were down in the second half but by concentrating on the little things like winning draws and good shot selection, we were able to stay composed and make it back," said Trinity Head Coach Katy Dissinger, who secured her first post-season win. "We also had to move the ball faster because the Williams' defense was all over us."
The Bantams found themselves trailing, 10-6, with 21:49 left in the game, after Williams senior Nancy Palmer (Lakeville, Conn.) recorded her fourth goal of the game from Anne Rehfuss (Latham, N.Y.. Bantam junior midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) answered 48 seconds later with an unassisted tally that ignited the clinching run, and fed Lyne at the 18:40 mark for a goal that made the score, 10-8. Bantam senior tri-captain midfielder Caroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) converted on a free-position shot 42 seconds after that, and sophomore midfielder Karly Simpson (South Hadley, Mass.) tied it for the first time since the 9:38 mark of the first half with an unassisted goal two minutes later. Lyne's game-winner was also assisted by Griffin, and neither team found the back of the net for the final 14:49, as the teams conbined for eight turnovers during that span. Palmer was stopped on a free-position shot at the three-minute mark by Trinity junior goalkeeper Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.), and the Bantams held the ball for the majority of time the rest of the way.
Senior tri-captain attacker Renee Olsen (Ridgewood, N.J.) and classmate Molly Cox (Norwell, Mass.) had gotten the Bantams off to a fine start with back-to-back goals in the first 3:20 of the contest. Palmer scored twice from Bridget Malicki (Weston, Mass.) and Hillary Cook (Carlisle, Mass.) scored once for the Ephs over the next 10 minutes, but Lyne's first two tallies kept Trinity ahead, 4-3, with 16:41 on the clock. Williams junior midfielder Natalie Gill (Medfield, Mass.) and Cox traded goals, before Rebecca Bell (Yarmouth, Maine), Gill, and Malicki scored three in a row to give the visitors a 7-5 lead the halftime. Malicki and Palmer kept the momentum on Williams' side with consecutive goals out of the break, but Simpson ended the Eph run at five with a free-position shot that beat Williams sophomore goalie Margaret Draper (Belmont, Mass.) to make the score, 9-6, almost seven minutes into the second stanza.
Trinity won 14 draws to nine for Williams, while the Ephs finished with a slight 23-to-21 shootng edge and a 13-to-9 advantage chasing down ground balls. Lyne (4g, 1a) and Griffin (1g, 4a) had five points apiece, while Cox and Simpson scored twice each for Trinity. Griffin also paced the Bantams with four draw controls, while senior Lindsay Mullaney (Boston, Mass.) anchored the Trinity defense with four ground balls and a game-high four caused turnovers. Malicki paced Williams with five points on two goals and three assists, while Rehfuss added a pair of assists to join Malicki and Palmer (4 goals) as multiple-point scorers. Gill had four draw controls, while Mahaney Sippel (New York, N.Y.) notched three ground balls and two caused turnovers, and Draper finished with eight saves for the Ephs.
"Some great decisions were made on our attack down the stretch, including Karly Simpson drawing a foul and converting to get us back on track when Williams had scored five in a row," added Dissinger. "We need to concentrate 100 percent on Tufts now, and not worry about what the schedule might be down the road. Every game from here on out, including this one, is a battle."