Hartford, Conn.. – Senior tri-captain attacker Clare Lyne (Concord, Mass.) scored three times to lead the Trinity College Bantams to an 11-8 victory over the visiting Wesleyan University Cardinals. Trinity, ranked No. 1 nationally in the latest Nike/US Lacrosse Division III Poll, improves to 11-1 overall with its eighth win in a row and remains alone at the top of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) standings with a 7-0 league mark. Wesleyan, ranked No. 19 nationally, falls to 8-4 overall and 4-3 in the conference with its first loss in three games and its 11th straight setback against the Bantams.
Trinity never trailed, opening up the scoring just under four minutes into the game on a free-position shot by junior attacker Georgia Mergner (West Caldwell, N.J.) only to have Wesleyan sophomore midfielder Antonia Kaz (Montclair, N.J.) answer with a goal from senior tri-captain attacker Liana Mathias (Ridgefield, Conn.) just 35 seconds later at the 24:32 mark. After a 7-plus minute period of no scoring, the Bantams rattled off three goals in a row over the next 11 minutes. Trinity junior attacker Grace O’Donnell (Yarmouth, Maine) scored with 17:22 on the clock and fed Mergner for a man-up tally with 12:13 remaining in the first half before Lyne finished the run with a free-position shot with 6:25 remaining before the break. Cardinal sophomore midfielder Abigail Horst (Pomfret, Conn.) cut the Trinity lead to 4-2 with a goal at the 3:09 mark.
The teams traded scores twice early in the second stanza to make the score, 6-4, and Wesleyan senior goalie Grace McCann (Simsbury, Conn.) made a point-blank save against Lyne at the 20:20 mark, but the Cardinals lost the ball on the clear attempt and Lyne made them pay with her third goal of the night on yet another free-position shot 10:22 after intermission. The Bantams tacked on three more goals over the next 4:31 to open up its largest lead at 10-4 midway through the second half, but Cardinal senior midfielder Rachel Aronow (West Hartford, Conn.) scored twice in a row to cut the visitors’ deficit to four. Junior midfielder Allie Barrett (Concord, Mass.) added an insurance goal for Trinity with 7:29 left to play, giving the Bantams six free-position goals in as many attempts. Wesleyan scored twice more, but Trinity junior attacker Abby McInerney (Cape Elizabeth, Maine) collected the last of her team-high draw controls with 2:24 remaining and the Bantams held onto the ball the game’s remainder.
Wesleyan finished with a 23-to-17 shooting edge and an 11-to-10 advantage on the draw, but committed 16 turnovers, drew five yellow cards, and went just 2-for-7 on free positions compared to Trinity’s 6-for-6. Bantam junior Zoe Ferguson (Ridgewood, N.J.) had 10 saves to four over 52:31 for McCann, and Trinity junior defender Clare Nowlan (Needham, Mass.) scooped a game-high three ground ball. O’Donnell joined Lyne with three points on two goals and one assist, while Mergner scored twice for the home offense. Mathias led all scorers with two goals and two assists, while Aronow added two goals and one assist for Wesleyan.
Tonight's contest was Trinity's Coaches vs. Cancer game, and the Bantam players and coaches wore t-shirts during warm-ups with the names of their loved ones who have succumbed to the horrible disease on the back to help raise awareness for the cause.