March 28, 2013

WD3 Notebook: Panthers, Bullets Take Lessons from Clash

by Mark Macyk LaxMagazine.com

Kelsey Markiewicz has three goals for Gettysburg in a losing effort to visiting Middlebury on Tuesday.

Both the winning and losing sides were able to take away valuable lessons from No. 4 Middlebury's 14-11 win at No. 5 Gettysburg on Tuesday.

Middlebury (6-0) learned it could shake off a slow start. The game started 24 hours late because of snow and the Panthers' offense showed up about 10 minutes after that.

"We were a mess on the draw," said Middlebury coach Missy Foote. "Our defense was full of holes. Our offense couldn't hold onto the ball. It was awesome how they dug themselves out."

And the Panthers did that digging on their own. The wind was so strong that it was nearly impossible to hear what Foote and her staff were calling from the sidelines. The Panthers also proved capable of beating a top team, just as their schedule becomes filled with them. Saturday's game at Bowdoin kicks off a stretch of six straight ranked NESCAC opponents.

For Gettysburg, which was fresh off a big win over TCNJ, the game offered a reminder to the Bullets that they aren't invincible. Middlebury provided Gettysburg with a similar reminder last year, when it knocked the defending champs out of the NCAA tournament.

"We got a wake up call," said Gettysburg coach Carol Cantele said. "Not that they strolled in here thinking anything was a given, but I think they saw, 'Wow, teams are tougher than we are sometimes.' We'll learn from it. That's all we can do."

Gettysburg jumped out to a 3-0 lead in the game's first 10 minutes, causing Foote to use a timeout.

"The coaches literally just told us to take a deep breath," said Middlebury senior Margaret Souther. "So we composed ourselves, went out there and fixed ourselves. It was jitters."

Middlebury scored four of the next five goals to tie it at four and the teams traded scores, until Middlebury put the game away with three straight goals in the second half to make it 12-9.

Ellen Halle continued her strong season for Middlebury with five goals and one assist, Souther added two goals and two assists and Alice Pfeifer had two goals and one assist. Loren Pruitt led Gettysburg with four goals and one assist, Kelsey Markiewicz added three goals and Bridget Kenny had one goal and one assist.

Both teams are working in new goaltenders and both made their share of great saves. Middlebury's Alyssa Palomba stuffed out plenty of Gettysburg chances with nine stops and Gettysburg's Lindsay Clinton played better than the three saves on the stat sheet showed.

Should the teams meet again in May, which is a strong possibility — "It almost feels like they're in our league," Foote said — it could be a different result. Gettysburg proved capable of winning, it just couldn't get the ball.

"Those Middlebury kids must have some kind of extension on their arms," Cantele said.

Middlebury won five of the last six draw controls and Heather Morrison picked up several key ground balls.

"The draw was key," Foote said. "Cat Fowler was amazing on the draws."

As good as Gettysburg is, you can't mount a comeback without the ball.

"Kudos to them for having good lengthy possessions," Cantele said. "It's difficult. You send two and you're going to leave someone open. You're counting on a team to make a mistake get getting flustered and a team at that level didn't today."

Gettysburg gears up for a Centennial Conference clash with Muhlenberg on Friday. The Bullets face Washington College and Franklin & Marshall at the end of April, a time where the lessons of this game will come in handy.

"It's a great takeaway for us," Cantele said. "It's not over until the ball is in your stick. A team like that is relentless in their push. It's a great lesson and it couldn't have come at a better time. To make us realize you have to earn it. That it's not a given."

Game of Last Week

Bowdoin 10, Hamilton 9 (OT)

Someone forgot to tell Mother Nature that spring officially began two days before this Friday afternoon tilt in central New York. With wind chills in the teens and snow squalls limiting visibility, Bowdoin lived up to its nickname, and the Polar Bears came away with a 10-9 overtime victory.

Lindsay Picard scored the game-winner, her second goal of the game, with 5:15 remaining in overtime. Bowdoin's Mackenzie Schleicher tied it at nine with 10:13 remaining to eventually force overtime. Schleicher's equalizer ended a 3-0 Hamilton run.

Carolyn Gorajek led Bowdoin (5-0) with three goals and one assist. Katie D'Antonio was tops for Hamilton with three goals and one assist.

Hamilton (4-3) bounced back with a 14-3 victory over Buffalo State on Monday in Florida, but then suffered another NESCAC loss, 13-9, to Colby on Wednesday in Florida.

Bowdoin won at Bates on Wednesday and hosts Middlebury on Saturday.

Looking Ahead

No. 4 Middlebury at No. 8 Bowdoin, Saturday

Each of these NESCAC teams is undefeated and each reached a final four within the past two seasons. These two almost always play close, but Middlebury almost always comes out on top.

This year Bowdoin might have an advantage. For one, the Polar Bears (5-0) have been able to sleep in their own beds, while the trip to Brunswick, Maine, will be the last leg on a week-long road trip through the Northeast for Middlebury (5-0).

Then again, the road trip, which featured games against Wesleyan, Gettysburg and Stevens, should have Middlebury battle-tested. Bowdoin has played the tougher conference games, with wins over Amherst and Hamilton, but the Polar Bears can't claim an opponent of the caliber of Gettysburg like Middlebury had.

But past results mean little in the NESCAC where the unexpected is expected.

"Going into each game you have to figure out what works and doesn't," said Middlebury senior Margaret Souther. "It's kind of like a puzzle."

Game Balls

Lyndsey Cannon, Kean: Cannon, a senior from Delran, N.J., broke Kean's career ground ball record during a 22-9 loss to Montclair State on Tuesday. Kean now has 201 career ground balls, two more than Jen LaBelle (Class of 1999). Cannon leads the Cougars (6-3), in nearly every statistical category including goals (26), assists (12), points (38), draw controls (32), caused turnovers (17) and, of course, ground balls (38).

E'leyna Garcia, Guilford: One game after scoring 10 goals and one assist against Catawba, Garcia kept it up with seven goals, including the score that put the Quakers up for good, and one assist, in a 14-10 victory over Virginia Wesleyan on Saturday. On Wednesday the junior out of Pine Crest Prep (Florida), added another six goals and one assist as Guilfrod (8-1), continued the best start in program history with a 16-12 victory over Lynchburg.

Molly MacDonald, Mount Holyoke: MacDonald, a senior from Milton, Mass., had one assist and three goals, including the score that gave the Lyons the lead for good in an 11-10 victory over defending NEWMAC tournament champion, Springfield, on Sunday. MacDonald's 27 goals leads Mount Holyoke (6-1), which has already matched its 2012 win total. Earlier in the week, she put up five goals and one assist in Friday's, 18-6, victory over Southern Maine.

Miscellaneous

Eleven days after crushing Cortland at Franklin & Marshall, No. 2 Salisbury (7-0) returned to Lancaster and beat the host Dips 13-7, the exact same score it beat Cortland by. Lauren Feusahrens had five goals to lead the Sea Gulls, who open CAC play on Saturday against Mary Washington... Elsewhere in South Central Pennsylvania, No. 16 Messiah (3-4) notched the most impressive victory of its young season, taking down No. 10 York, 17-15, on Tuesday. Cecilia Kjellman had four goals and two assists to lead Messiah, which plays at Salisbury on April 5... Fresh off a win over No. 7 TCNJ, Cortland held on to win at No. 13 Ithaca, 9-8, on Saturday. Freshman Tara Monaghan scored what proved to be the game-winner off an assist from classmate Erica Geremia, to make it 9-6 with 12:09 remaining. Freshman goalie, Liz Ingalls, made six saves, one game after recording 12 saves in her first collegiate start against St. Lawrence. The win wraps up a five-game road swing for Cortland (6-1), which hasn't played at home since March 7... RPI entered the Top 20 this week. The No. 18 Engineers (4-1), who have lost only to Middlebury by four goals, have a tough Liberty League test at St. Lawrence on Friday... Geneseo (5-1), fresh off a 16-7 win over St. Lawrence, enters the poll at No. 19. That ranking will be put the test right away. The Knights open SUNYAC play at Cortland on Saturday... And new No. 20 Washington College (7-0) downed Drew to match the best start in program history. Extending that streak might prove difficult. WAC opens its Centennial Conference season on Saturday against Franklin & Marshall.

Mark Macyk has covered NCAA Division II and III women's lacrosse for Lacrosse Magazine since 2011. He can be contacted at markmacyk@gmail.com.


comments powered by Disqus