The Hamilton College women’s lacrosse team finished the 2015 season at Gettysburg College on Saturday, losing 18-10 to Middlebury College in the third round of the NCAA playoffs. The game lasted nearly four and a half hours because of a pair of lightning delays.

Box score
Nationally ranked No. 6 Middlebury (15-3 overall) advances to Sunday’s regional final against York (Pa.), who upset host Gettysburg in Saturday’s first regional semifinal.

The 13th-ranked Continentals (12-6) scored four of the final five first-half goals after Middlebury had jumped out to a 8-1 lead. The teams traded goals to open the second half before the Panthers took control with a 7-1 run, pushing their lead to 17-7.

Morgan Fletcher ’17 led the Continentals with a career-best four goals and Caroline McCarthy ’16 matched a personal best with three goals and scooped up three ground balls.

Fletcher scored off the initial draw just 13 seconds in but the Panthers kicked off an 8-0 spurt by notching a pair of goals six seconds apart to take the lead for good. Mary O’Connell ’17 collected three of her four goals during Middlebury’s decisive run.

Katie Ritter ‘15, who finished with a game-high six points, scored one goal and assisted on two others during the run. Bridget Instrum ’16 scored the first of her three goals to put the Panthers up 3-1. After Instrum assisted on a goal by Laurel Pascal ’16 with 18:50 left in the half, Middlebury owned an 8-1 lead.

The Continentals scored three times in a span of 1:11 to kick start their 4-1 run. Ashleigh Stephan ’15 and Nora Klemmer ‘17 scored on consecutive possessions and Fletcher picked up Hamilton’s last two goals of the half. The Panthers held a 9-5 cushion at the break.

The second half opened with goals by Pascal and McCarthy, leaving Middlebury with a 10-6 advantage. Instrum answered McCarthy’s goal 15 seconds later to kick off a 7-1 stretch that sealed the win. Megan Griffin ’16 and Hollis Perticone ’18 both had a goal and an assist in the run; 12 Panthers recorded either a goal or an assist.

Hailey Cosseboom ’17 gave Middlebury its biggest lead with 6:37 left, converting a free-position shot to put the Panthers up 18-8. Hamilton goals by Taylor Ryan ’17 and McCarthy in the final 2:30 closed out the scoring.

Middlebury’s Katie Mandigo ’16 and Madeleine Kinker '16 combined to stop five shots. Hamilton’s Hannan Rubin ’17 also made five saves in goal.

Catherine Fowler ’15 won seven draw controls for Middlebury and Perticone won four as the Panthers controlled 19 of the game’s 30 draws. Katie Ritter picked up three ground balls and Chrissy Ritter ’16 and Delaina Smith ’17 caused a pair of turnovers apiece.

Hannah Haskell ’15 caused two turnovers for Hamilton and Casey File ’17 collected three draw controls.

The Continentals, who knocked off two-time defending national champion Salisbury University in their first game last week, were making their eighth appearance in the NCAA Division III Women’s Lacrosse Championship. They are the only team to make that many playoff trips and win at least one game each time.

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