Trinity Clinches Homefield Throughout NESCAC Tournament
from press release
Clinton, N.Y. - The top-ranked Trinity College Bantams jumped out to a 6-2 lead at the half and held on for an 8-4 New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's lacrosse win against the No. 16-rankd Hamilton College Continentals at Steuben Field this afternoon. Trinity improves to 13-0 overall and 9-0 in the NESCAC with its 21st straight win, a streak that dates back to last year for the 2012 NCAA Division III Champions. Trinity clinches home-field advantage for the entire NESCAC Championship Tournament, which it has won at home the last two springs. The cool, blustery conditions helped contribute to a combined total of 39 turnovers by the squads. Winds regularly exceeded 20 mph, and snow showers pelted the players during pregame warmups. Hamilton falls to 7-7 overall and finishes the NESCAC schedule at 4-6 with their sixth loss in seven games all-time against the Bantams.
Senior tri-captain midfielder Megan Leonhard (Summit, N.J.), sophomore midfielderCaroline Hayes (Greenland, N.H.) and senior attacker Hadley Duncan (Rye, N.Y.) scored two goals each for the Bantams. Senior attacker Kaitlin Hildebrand (Berwyn, Pa.) posted one goal and one assist, sophomore midfielder Lindsay Mullaney (Wellesley, Mass.) chipped in a goal and junior attacker Shea Kusiak (Longmeadow, Mass.) was credited with two helpers. Leonhard was also a force on defense with four ground balls and two caused turnovers. Senior defender Hillary McNamara (Milton, Mass.) scooped up four ground balls, first-year midfielder Martha Griffin (Exeter, N.H.) won three draw controls and senior tri-captain Olivia Whitney (Danvers, Mass.) made four saves.
Emily Brodsky '14 netted two goals and has scored five in the last two games for the Continentals. Rachel Friedman '13 tallied her 175th career goal to go along with three caused turnovers and two draw controls. Katie D'Antonio '14 potted her team-best 29th goal this year and Lauren Brady '14 had an assist. Paige Engeldrum '13 picked up four ground balls and caused two turnovers for Hamilton. Madison Beres '15 recorded two saves, two caused turnovers and four ground balls. The Continentals held a 17-13 shot advantage, but scored on just 2 of 7 free-position shots.
The Bantams grabbed a 1-0 lead on Mullaney's ninth goal with 25:19 left in the first half. Hamilton responded on Brodsky's first goal of the day after an accurate, long pass ahead from Brady with 21:55 remaining. Trinity scored the next three goals and took the lead for good. Hayes got a shot past Beres on a free-position opportunity, Leonhard scored on a feed from Hildebrand and Leonhard made it 4-1 on her 27th goal with 16:11 left. Friedman pulled the Continentals within 4-2 on her free-position goal with 14:04 remaining, but the Bantams scored the last two goals before the break. Hildebrand tallied her 27th goal and Hayes scored her 15th with just 25.5 seconds left.
Hamilton struck first in the second half on a goal by D'Antonio that made it 6-3 with 27:04 to go. The teams went nearly 13 minutes without another goal until Duncan put one in from the doorstep on a Kusiak pass from behind the goal with 14:14 remaining. Brodsky made it 7-4 on a free-position shot for her 13th goal with 5:50 left. Trinity won the ensuing draw control but turned the ball over and the Continentals had a chance to cut their deficit to two, but McNamara forced a turnover, Hayes picked up the loose ball and Duncan clinched the win with her 27th goal on a free-position shot with 2:12 remaining.