MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team romped to three wins in the latter half of last week to improve to 5-0, 4-0 in NESCAC. The Panthers were ranked No. 7 in last week’s NCAA Division III poll.
On Wednesday, the Panthers topped host Skidmore, 16-5, dropping the Thoroughbreds to 3-1.
Middlebury took a 2-0 lead when Liz Garry and Stephanie Gill scored 22 seconds apart. After Skidmore cut it to 2-1 at 21:13, the Panthers took charge with an 8-0 run that included three goals from Liza Herzog to take a 10-1 lead. Middlebury led by 11-3 at the half and then scored the first three goals of the second half to put the game out of reach.
For the Panthers, Gill tallied a game-high five points on three goals and two assists, Herzog and Garry each had three points, Katie Ritter had two goals and a team-high four ground balls, and Margaret Souther had a goal and six draw controls. Lily Nguyen earned the win in goal, while Alyssa Palomba finished with one save in the final 14:20.
On Saturday, Middlebury cruised in its home opener, 19-6, over NESCAC foe Wesleyan (3-3, 1-3 NESCAC). Michaela Colbert, Ellen Halle and Herzog each scored four goals to pace the Middlebury offense.
Middlebury took a 3-1 lead in the game’s first 2:38 and followed with six straight goals to take a 9-1 advantage with 10:57 remaining in the first half. Herzog scored four of the first 11 Middlebury goals, with Colbert adding a pair and Gill contributing two assists.
The Cardinals finally snapped the streak at 9:52, but the Panthers tacked on four more goals — two from Colbert — to make it 13-2 at halftime.
Dani DeMarco, Emma Kramer, Ritter, Garry and Alice Pfeifer each had a goal and an assist, while Gill dished out two helpers. Nguyen earned the win with four saves in 42 minutes, while Palomba stopped three shots in 18 minutes.
Maggie Drowica made seven saves in goal for the Cardinals. Middlebury outshot Wesleyan, 36-15, and forced 19 turnovers while committing just seven.
On Sunday, the Panthers defeated host No. 10 Tufts, 16-5. Garry scored five goals and Nguyen backed a strong defensive effort with six saves. Tufts, an 11-10 loser to Colby on Friday, dropped to 4-2 overall and 2-2 in the league.
The Panthers took a 3-0 lead, with two goals by Ritter. The Jumbos scored the next two goals, but the Panthers finished the half with six unanswered goals to lead 9-2 at the break. Garry, Colbert and junior Souther tallied two goals apiece during the run. Middlebury then scored the first three goals of the second half, including two by Garry, to take a decisive 12-2 lead.
Ritter finished with three goals and two assists, while Colbert tallied three times. Herzog helped spark the Panther defense with four groundballs and four caused turnovers, while Hannah Deoul finished with five groundballs. Tufts goalie Tess Shapanka finished with seven saves. Middlebury had advantages of 30-14 in shots and 24-17 in ground balls.
Middlebury will play at Colorado College on Wednesday at 6 p.m. before hosting Bowdoin at noon on Saturday.