MIDDLETOWN, Conn. – The 12th-ranked Wesleyan women's lacrosse team went on a 3-0 second half run to go ahead 7-6 with 19:57 to play, but the Cardinals came up short as No. 6 Middlebury won 8-7 in a NESCAC thriller Saturday afternoon on Smith Field.
Abigail Horst led Wesleyan with three goals and Sydney Prokupek tallied two with one assist. The loss snapped the Cardinals' four-game winning streak to open the season as they are now 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the NESCAC. The Panthers, the 2018 national runner-ups, were led by Emily Barnard, Emma McDonagh and Jenna McNicholas with two goals each as they improved to 3-1 and 2-1.
- Wesleyan got on the board first with a wrap-around, bounce shot goal from Horst at the 27:07 mark.
- However, the Panthers rallied with three unanswered goals and a score by McNicholas with 16:16 to play put the visitors ahead, 3-1.
- Less than a minute later, Johanna Copeland found the inside top left corner to cut the deficit to one, but Erin Nicholas extended the lead back to two at the 13:19 mark.
- It proved to be the final Middlebury goal of the half as Wesleyan closed out on a 2-0 run. Prokupek's goal with 2:01 on the clock evened the score at 4-4.
- Middlebury came out hot to start the second half and scored two goals within the first three minutes.
- Wesleyan answered with a run of its own. Trailing 6-4, Prokupek cut the deficit to one at the 25:39 mark with a free position shot, and just 35 seconds later, Horst spun around a defender and bounced a shot into the back of the net to even the score once again.
- With 19:57 remaining in regulation, Rylee White put the home team ahead as she juked a defender off a free position attempt and sent her shot to the top left corner as the Cardinals went up 7-6.
- The Panthers clamped down on defense and help Wesleyan scoreless the rest of the way.
- At the 17:56 mark, Nichols found Barnard who sent a shot above goalie Allegra Grant's head and into the net to tie the game at 7-7.
- After roughly 13 minutes of scoreless action. McDonagh scored the game-winner with 5:00 on the clock with another high shot just under the crossbar.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Despite the loss, Wesleyan outshot Middlebury 24-20 and held a 12-5 edge in draw controls. The Panthers were a perfect 24-24 on clear attempts, and both teams scored two free position goals.
- Breanna Cavanaugh led the Cardinals with four ground balls and Jordan Ansell caused three turnovers. Grant recorded six saves in goal.
- Nicholas led all players with two assists, and also scored on another, while Addy Mitchell led Middlebury with four ground balls and a game-high six caused turnovers.
- The Cardinals are back in action tomorrow and will play at No. 25 Babson. The game is scheduled to start at 2 p.m.