W. Lax upsets nationally-ranked Trinity College team

“One step at a time.” That age old mantra has defined many coaches’ careers; however, Coach Karen Henning took it a step further and brought a ladder into the Colby Women’s Lacrosse locker room last Saturday to reiterate the importance of taking things one step at a time during their game versus the then nationally second-ranked Trinity Bantams. “The big thing for us was confidence. [Trinity] is always so good. They lost in the finals last year and won the NESCAC, but we always have been very competitive against them,” said Gemma Brady ’17. The Bantams were 37-2 in NESCAC regular season play the past four years, losing only to Bates in 2014 and Amherst in 2012. The reigning NESCAC champions have also been to three straight NCAA Division III title games and won the championship in 2012.

The Mules return many of their players after a successful 2014 season that saw Colby in the National Quarterfinals and utilized their strength and experience to overcome the Bantams 11-10 in a nail biter that saw the wining goal scored with just 16 seconds remaining on the clock. Team play was essential for the victory as the Mules used goals from six separate players to beat out Trinity. “Our motto this year is ‘Tougher Together’ and I think that really showed on Saturday,” commented Brady. 

The Mules took to the field sporting a revamped defense that flustered the Trinity offense and created turnovers that became essential for the Mules later in the game. Strong play on the draw from tri-captain Abby Hatch ’15 allowed the Mules to jump ahead to a 4-1 lead early on in the game. Hatch assisted three of the four goals, setting up opportunities for Lexie Perticone ’17, Abby Hooper ’16, and one to her sister, Maddie Hatch ’18, who scored on her first collegiate shot. As Trinity settled in, they were able to control the pace of the game and notched four unanswered goals over a seven-minute period. The elder Hatch netted her first goal of the game late in the first half to tie the game at five going into the break.

Free position shots were a major factor in the game, as the Bantams utilized their opportunities to score three quick goals after halftime to pull away from the Mules. Colby responded with a spurt of goals following strong play from Dana Swaffield ’16, who set up Hooper for a one-timer. “We had really tried to play our hardest and win every draw, every ground ball, and every battle on the field,” Abby Hatch said. “Every moment matters.” Swaffield had a huge second half, scoring twice and assisting twice as well. “Players who had not played in the past have really stepped up for the Mules,” said Hatch. Swaffield, a veteran attacker for the Mules, was supplemented by strong play from newly-named starter Perticone.

The Mules controlled possession for the final two minutes of the game while Trinity settled in and played tight defense, but Hatch senior netted the deciding goal off a pass from Emilie Klein ’17. The Mules’ depth gave Colby a distinct advantage late in the game.“Everyone is so strong across the board and our bench is so deep,” said Brady. Despite many outstanding performances on offense including the NESCAC Player of the Week performance from Hatch, Sara Miller ’15 was the unsung hero for the Mules as she locked down Trinity’s leading goal scorer. The Mules will take the field next week where they look to continue their momentum after moving up the national ranks to fifth.Women's Lacrosse

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