Hartford, Conn. - The Trinity College Bantams won 15 of 19 draw controls and held the Bates Bobcats to just four second half shots en route to a 14-3 victory in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Semifinals on Saturday afternoon in Hartford. The host Bantams move on to play in the conference championship for the seventh straight season at Robin L. Sheppard Field, against the winner of today's other semifinal game between the Middlebury Panthers and the Amherst Purple & White. Top-seeded Trinity improves to 15-2 with the win while No. 5 seed Bates ends its conference tournament run with a 12-5 overall record.
Sophomore Kiley Coffey (West Newbury, Mass.) and junior Clare Lyne (Concord, Mass.) won four and three draw controls, respectively, for Trinity while First Team All-NESCAC senior co-captain Ashley Stewart (Dover, Mass.) led the Bantam defense with four caused turnovers and two ground balls. Lyne led the offense with four goals while sophomore Georgia Mergner (West Caldwell, N.J.) led all players with four assists on the day. Sophomore goalie Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) made five saves in the first half to earn the win for the Bantams before giving way to senior Emily Mooney (New York, N.Y.) who allowed just one Bobcat score. For Bates, senior Emma Brinkman (Rye, N.Y.) led the way with two scores, both in the first half, while senior Kara Le (Richboro, Pa.) and sophomore Camille Belletete (Jaffrey, N.H.) won a pair of draw controls each.
Neither team scored for the first 9:53 of the first half until Lyne beat Bobcat goalie Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.) on a free-position shot to give Trinity the 1-0 lead. Lyne scored again just a few minutes later thanks to a slick pass from NESCAC Player of the Year senior co-captain Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.). Brinkman scored the first of her two goals at the 13:35 mark to cut the deficit to one, however Trinity senior Abby McQuillan (Medfield, Mass.), Coffey, and sophomore Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) followed with three goals, all within a two minute span, to jump out to a 5-1 lead. Brinkman responded with her second goal but a Bantam 3-0 run to end the half made it an 8-2 game at the break.
Griffin and Lyne scored twice, nearly a minute apart, in the second half to extend Trinity's lead to eight. McInerney netted her second score of the game at the 22:09 mark in the second half before a Nicole Stauffer (Cheshire, Conn.) goal made it a ten-goal Bantam lead with 16:23 to play. Sophomore Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) and freshman Jennifer Cook (Manhasset, N.Y.) added Trinity scores before Belletete found the back of the net on a free-position shot for the Bobcats with 2:14 to play for the final score of 14-3.
Trinity owns a 19-6 all-time record in the NESCAC Tournament including their fifth-straight title last year and a trip to the league finals in 2008. They will look to make it six-straight tomorrow in the championship at 1 p.m.