Women's lacrosse rallies for season-opening win
Hamilton College scored the first four goals of the second half and the Continentals came from behind for an 8-6 NESCAC win against the Wesleyan University Cardinals at Hamilton's frigid Steuben Field on Saturday afternoon.
The Continentals (1-0, 1-0 NESCAC) improved to 5-0 all-time against Wesleyan in the season opener for both teams. Hamilton started the season with a win for the 10th time in the past 12 years. The Cardinals dropped their 11th straight conference game.
Ashleigh Stephan '15 and Morgan Fletcher '17 led the Continentals' offense with two goals apiece. Caroline McCarthy '16, Jackie Cuddy '18, Darby Philbrick '18 and Nora Klemmer '17 added one each. Philbick and Cuddy tallied their first collegiate goals.
Hannah Haskell '15 was the star on Hamilton's defense with five ground balls and a career-high three caused turnovers. Hannah Rubin '17 made three saves and picked up the win in goal.
Martha Harding '16 posted two goals and one assist, and Liana Mathias '17 chipped in three assists for Wesleyan. Leah Sherman '15, Morgan Moubayed '17, Meredith Smith '17 and Julia Black '18 added one goal each. Black and Abby Wheeler '17 won three draw controls apiece as the Cardinals boasted an 11-5 advantage in that category. Nina Labovich '16 was credited with eight saves, including six in the first half alone.
Wesleyan held a 5-4 lead at the break as neither team led by more than one goal in the first half. Stephan pulled the Continentals into a 5-5 tie just 70 seconds into the second half with her second goal of the day on a nice individual effort.
Hamilton scored the next three goals on free-position shots. McCarthy put the Continentals in front for good with 22:46 left and Klemmer made it 7-5 with 13:13 remaining. Fletcher provided Hamilton with a three-goal cushion with 10:57 to go when her free-position shot was stopped but not controlled by Labovich, and the loose ball trickled slowly across the goal line.
Moubayed pulled the Cardinals within 8-6 with 2:12 left on Mathias' third assist of the afternoon. Black won the ensuing draw for Wesleyan and the Cardinals called timeout. Once action started again, Moubayed charged towards the front of the goal but was met by a wall of defenders. The ball popped out, the Continentals picked it up and Hamilton ran out the final 1:40.
The teams struggled to find an offensive groove early as temperatures barely reached 20 degrees. Harding finally broke the ice and gave Wesleyan a 1-0 lead with 17:56 remaining in the half. Cuddy scored the Continentals' first goal of 2015 with 14:16 to go on a strong drive towards the goal and Fletcher put Hamilton in front 2-1 with 13:03 left.
The Cardinals scored the last two goals of the half. Smith tied the score at 4-4 with 5:50 remaining and Harding put Wesleyan up by a goal with 54 seconds to go.
The Continentals host William Smith College for a non-conference game on Wednesday, March 4. The Cardinals travel to Wheaton College in Massachusetts for a non-league game on Wednesday as well.