W. Lax goalies shut down Ephs

Having suffered a tough loss to Amherst a week earlier, Colby Women’s Lacrosse went into this past weekend looking for nothing short of a dominating win to cement their place in the playoffs. With the expectations clearly set for what was always going to be a tough game away at Williams, the Mules delivered another strong performance, winning 12-9 against the Ephs.

Though the first period opened with blistering end-to-end attacking play, neither team was able to quickly find the net as both goalies opened the game with impressive showings. The repeated saves of Mules’ tri-captain Claire Dickson ’15 were matched by Williams goalie Margaret Draper ’17, ensuring the first minutes of the game remained scoreless. The Mules were first to break the deadlock, however, as Colby tri-captain Abby Hatch ’15 launched a shot into the top of the Ephs’ net, the first of her four goals for the day. Hatch would score again only moments later off a Lexie Perticone ’17 assist, putting the Mules up 2-0.

A slew of goals quickly followed, as William’s Nancy Palmer ’15 won the draw, starting of series a passes that ended with Bridget Malicki ’15 firing a shot into the Mules’ net to tie the score. Colby’s Dana Swaffield ’16 then responded quickly, weaving around the Williams’ defense to set the score at 3-1. Unfortunately, two goals from Williams followed, putting the score at 3-3.

Eager to press their attack, Williams began a strong offensive, but was left with nothing to show for it thanks to an incredible series of saves from Dickson. The Mules complemented their strong defensive performance with an equally strong attacking one, scoring four straight goals against the Ephs. Freshman attacker Sasha Fritts scored the first of the drive, followed soon by Hatch’s third of the day. Fritts soon scored again, followed by a shot from Swaffield, ending the four-goal surge and leaving the score at 7-3 in the Mules’ favor. The half ended with one more Colby and two more Williams goals, putting the score at 8-5 going into the break.

The Mules opened the second half with a more conservative style of play, holding back their offense for the first few minutes of the half, opting instead to maintain possession and deny Williams a chance of scoring. The strategy paid off, as they slowly wore down the Ephs defense, scoring with their first shot of the half. Williams then responded well, with Hillary Cook ’15 scoring to put the score at 9-6.

The next ten minutes of the game were marked by another Williams attack rendered wholly ineffective by brilliant goalkeeping from the Mules, this time from Freshman keeper Sam Burch. Colby maintained their defensive strategy through this period, allowing the Ephs to wear themselves out with repeated fruitless attacks.

Colby quickly launched another attack, bringing the score to 11-6 with ten minutes left. Down by five goals, Williams frantically pushed forward yet again, with Becca Bell ’15 putting the Ephs back on the board. Colby, though, responded one more time in a powerful fashion, putting away their twelfth and final goal of the day. Despite two more goals from Williams in the dying minutes, the Mules’ defense remained resolute, with the game ending 12-9, an important win for Colby.

With only one more regular season game left before the playoffs, the Mules have an ample list of positives to take from the enthralling 21-goal affair. Hatch put in yet another impressive performance, with four goals and one assist, while Sasha Fritts had her best game yet with three goals and one assist. With strong showings on both offense and defense, the Mules are looking ahead to their final game, against Bates on Wednesday, and the exciting playoff games to follow.

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