NESCAC Semifinal: No. 1 Trinity 13, No. 6 Colby 10

NESCAC Semifinal: No. 1 Trinity 13, No. 6 Colby 10

Courtesy of Trinity Sports Information

– Trinity raced to a 7-2 halftime lead and held on for a 13-10 victory over visiting Colby in a New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Women's Lacrosse Championship Semifinal on Sheppard Field Saturday. Trinity improves to 14-2 with its tenth consecutive win and advances to the NESCAC Finals tomorrow at noon.  Colby falls to 9-6 with its first loss in four games. Three-time defending NESCAC Champion and top-seeded Trinity, which downed the Mules for the 10th straight time, will host the winner of this afternoon's Amherst/Williams game in the league finals tomorrow with the winner of that game earning automatic qualification to the NCAA Division III Championship Tourney.

The game was scoreless for the opening 5:37, as Colby backstop Michelle Burt made five saves during that span, but Trinity attacker Molly Cox broke through with a free-position shot to give the home team a 1-0 lead at the 24:23 mark.  The defenses and both goalkeepers continued their strong play over the next 10 minutes, as Burt saved both shots sent her way including a key stop against Trinity midfielder Karly Simpson midway through the half, and Bantam Emily Mooney stymied Mule sophomore midfielder Abby Hooper from point-blank range moments later. 

Colby attacker Lindsey McKenna scored from attacker Katharine Eddy with 14:03 on the clock to tie the score at 1-1.  Burt and Mooney traded two more impressive stops, before three consecutive Trinity goals put the Bantams in control.  Trinity midfielder Caroline Hayes started the run with a low shot past Burt, and attacker Shea Kusiak fed midfielder Lindsay Mullaney on one tally and scored her first of the game just over a minute later for a 4-1 Bantam advantage with 5:15 on the clock.  Eddy dished to Mule attacker Dana Swaffield for a Colby goal with 4:02 left before the break, but Hayes won the ensuing draw and midfielder Clare Lyne scored at 3:07 to ignite a second 3-0 run for the Bantams.  Hayes and Kusiak picked up goals before halftime for a 7-2 Trinity advantage. 

Eddy took matters into her owns hands with an unassisted score just 29 seconds into the second stanza after controlling the opening draw, and answered a Trinity free-position goal by attacker Renee Olsen with an assist on McKenna's second tally and an unassisted goal of her own to pull the Mules to within three at 8-5 with 22:56  left in the game.  Two unassisted goals by midfielder Martha Griffin highlighted a 4-1 Bantam run to extend the home team's advantage to 12-6 at the 12:06 mark, but back-to-back scores by Mule attacker Sarah Lux brought her team back into it at 13-9 with 2:09 left to play.  Lux fed Katie Griffin 22 seconds later for a 13-10 score, but Mooney made two saves down the stretch to preserve the victory.

Trinity held a 33-to-18 edge shooting, a 19-to-14 advantage on ground balls, a 15-to-10 advantage on the draw, while forcing 20 turnovers and converting on four of eight free-position shots.  Colby committed 27 fouls to 10 for the Bantams, who were forced to defend just a single free-position shot and did so successfully.  Burt made nine saves in the first half, while goalie Claire Dickson had five in the second, while Mooney finished with four stops to improve to 13-2.  Hayes recorded a hat trick and added a game-high six draw controls, while Kusiak and Griffin each notched two goals and one assist, and Cox scored twice.  Mullaney totaled a goal, four ground balls, and three caused turnovers, while sophomore Ashley Stewart and rookie Kathryn DeLillio scooped four ground balls apiece for Trinity.  Eddy led all scorers with five points on two goals and three assists, while Lux added two goals and two assists, and Griffin and McKenna scored twice each.  Eddy also paced Colby with three draw controls, while Klein and junior midfielder Abby Hatch had three caused turnovers apiece.