Women's lacrosse heads into playoffs after 10th straight victory

WATERVILLE, Maine -- Kendall Smith exploded for five second-half goals on the way to scoring six goals on the day to lift the sixth-ranked Colby College women's lacrosse team to a 12-9 win over Bates College in NESCAC play Wednesday.

The Mules, now 12-3 overall and winners of 10 straight games, played their final regular season game ever on Bill Alfond Field. Colby will be playing on a new field behind the current athletic center starting next year.

The Mules, though, will have at least one playoff game on Bill Alfond Field on Saturday when fourth-seeded Colby plays host to fifth-seeded Wesleyan University in a NESCAC quarterfinal game at noon. 

Colby, the top-ranked NESCAC team in the country, tied for first place in the league at 8-2 with Middlebury College, Hamilton College and Trinity College. The tie-breaker is head-to-head competition against each other. Middlebury and Hamilton both have 2-1 records, but the Panthers are the top seed thanks to a victory over the Continentals. The Mules and Trinity both had 1-2 records against the other teams, but the Bantams are the third seed because of an overtime win over Colby early in the season.

After Colby and Bates battled to a 4-4 halftime tie, Smith scored five goals in the opening 10:38 of the second half to put the Mules up 9-6. She had two straight unassisted goals and then got her third from Emilie Klein for a 7-4 margin with 24:05 remaining.

Bates never stopped working and cut the lead to 7-6 on goals 52 seconds apart from Sydney Howard on a free-position shot and Camille Belletete on an unassisted score. Smith scored her other two goals to push the lead back up to three at 9-6.

Allison Dewey connected on a free-position shot for the Bobcats with 16:04 to play in the game. Bates had its best chance for a comeback over the next six minutes, but could not manage a goal to cut the margin to one.

Instead, the Mules scored three straight goals to take command at 12-7. Madeleine Hatch tallied from Kelsey Bowen with 9:28 to go and Hannah Newhall made her second goal of the season a big one off an assist from Sasha Fritts. Grace Crowell scored the Mules' lone free-position goal with 6:32 to play.

Bates did score the final two goals and had a few opportunities to cut the lead to two goals. Teal Otley tallied from Sydney Cowles with 4:11 remaining and Joanie Oates had the final goal of the game on a free-position shot with 2:50 left.

Colby's biggest lead of the first half was at 2-0, but the Bobcats battled back and took a 4-3 lead before Gemma Bready scored for Colby with 2:08 to halftime.

Smith's six goals put her at 37 goals and five assists for 42 points this season. Fritts added two goals and two assists and also has 37 goals and five assists. 

Dewey, Howard, and Otley all had two goals for the Bobcats, who finish the season at 7-8 overall and 2-8 in the league.

Izzy Scribano made seven of her 10 saves in the first half for the Mules. Emilie Klein, the NESCAC Player of the Week for last week, had one assist, three caused turnovers, one draw control, and one ground ball. Bready added two draw controls, two ground balls, and one caused turnover. Crowell also contributed three draw controls, while Melinda Edie and Celeste Murtha both had two ground balls and one draw control.

Bates goalie Eliza Statile had six of her eight saves in the opening half. Kaileigh Maguire led the Bobcats with four draw controls and two caused turnovers. Drew Barry added two caused turnovers, two ground balls, and one draw control. Camille Belletete finished with one goal, four ground balls, and two draw controls.

Box: http://gocolbymules.com/sports/wlax/2016-17/boxscores/20170426_i74d.xml

Photo on home page: Jim Kerr; Photo above: Dean Denis 

2017 NESCAC Women’s Lacrosse Championship

Saturday, April 29 at Higher Seeds  

Quarterfinal Games

No. 8 Amherst at No. 1 Middlebury – 12 p.m.

No. 7 Bowdoin at No. 2 Hamilton – 12 p.m.

No. 6 Tufts at No. 3 Trinity – 12 p.m.

No. 5 Wesleyan at No. 4 Colby – 12 p.m.

Saturday, May 6 at Highest Remaining Seed

Semifinal Games – 12 p.m./2:30 p.m.

Highest Remaining Seed vs. Lowest Remaining Seed

Remaining Quarterfinal Round Winners

Sunday, May 7 at Semifinal Site

Final – 1 p.m.

Semifinal Winners