Women’s lacrosse completes comeback victory in home opener

Nicole Lyons ’18, just before she scored the game-winner with 4:21 left in the contest (Josh McKee photo).
Nicole Lyons ’18, just before she scored the game-winner with 4:21 left in the contest (Josh McKee photo).

The Hamilton College Continentals scored five unanswered goals in the final 14 minutes to defeat the Colby College Mules 11-9 at Hamilton's Withiam Field on Saturday afternoon.

The nationally ranked No. 17 Continentals (1-2, 1-1 NESCAC) picked up their first victory of the season. Colby (0-2, 0-2) is ranked 14th in the Intercollegiate Women's Lacrosse Coaches Association Division III poll, and is the third straight nationally ranked opponent that Hamilton has faced this season.

Nicole Lyons '18, Kara Pooley '19 and Darby Philbrick '18 notched three goals each. Lyons scooped up four ground balls, Pooley dished out one assist for a game-best four points, and Philbrick had four draw controls and three caused turnovers. Skyler Simson '20 picked up her second goal of the season and Charlotte Wynn '20 scored her third goal in the last two games.

Hannah Burrall '19 recorded 12 saves, three ground balls and one caused turnover in goal for Hamilton. TT Fletcher '20 led the defensive unit with three caused turnovers and she picked up two ground balls. Three ground balls each came from Emma Knoll '20, Hannah Lease 18, Courtney Pierre '21 and Sarah Kaiser '19.  

Grace Langmuir and Kendall Smith tallied two goals apiece to guide Colby. Emma Banks and Taylor Moore both had one goal and one assist. Moore added four ground balls, Melinda Edie caused four turnovers and Grace Crowell had four draw controls and three ground balls. Izzy Scribano made eight saves in goal for the Mules.

Colby jumped out to an early 2-0 lead with back-to-back goals by Robyn Pirie at 22:58 and Kendall Smith at 22:12. Pooley cut Hamilton's deficit in half at 20:48 with a free-position goal from the top of the arc, before Colby scored three unanswered to gain its largest lead at 5-1 with 13:38 remaining in the first half.

Lyons started the Continentals' comeback with a free-position goal at 8:45 and 25 seconds later Philbrick made it a two-goal game at 5-3. Philbrick won the draw control, raced into the offensive zone and passed behind the net to Lyons. The Continentals passed around the arc back to Philbrick who split the defenders and tucked the ball inside the lower-left corner.

Pooley scored her second goal of the opening half at 5:45 to pull Hamilton within one, and Simson took advantage of her free-position shot at 3:06 to even the score at 5-5 heading into the half.

Philbrick's free-position goal just 40 seconds after the start of the second half gave Hamilton its first lead at 6-5, but Colby took back the lead with four straight goals. Langmuir scored two of the Mules' four goals in the run, and her second goal gave Colby a 9-6 lead with 16:47 remaining.

With the snow gusting across the turf, the Continentals caught fire and went on a 5-0 tear down the stretch for the victory. Wynn got things started for Hamilton. The sophomore midfielder saved the ball from exiting the offensive zone and her teammates gave the ball right back to her at the top of the arc. Wynn then used her stick work to deke around two defenders and fired a shot into the lower-left corner.

Despite being triple-teamed, Pooley managed to maneuver around the arc for a shot and fired the ball inside the far post for her third goal of the contest with 10:13 left. Pooley then dished the ball to Philbrick at 5:38 to tie the score at 9-all. Pooley controlled the ball on the right side, sent a high centering pass to Philbrick cutting towards the net and Philbrick flung the ball inside the left post.

Following a Hamilton timeout, Lyons gave the Continentals a 10-9 lead with 4:21 left. Tessa Ryan '21 was on the left side of the offensive zone when she ran the ball towards the center and passed back to Lyons on the left side. Lyons caught the ball, cut past two Colby defenders for an open shot on goal and sniped a shot into the upper-left corner of the nylon. Lyons then put Hamilton up by two goals on a free-position shot with 1:43 remaining.

Hamilton was 8 of 9 in clear attempts and committed just six turnovers in the second half.

The Continentals travel to Florida next week for two games. Hamilton takes on SUNY Geneseo on Tuesday, March 13 at Ann Dever Memorial Regional Park in Englewood for a non-conference game at 5 p.m. Hamilton and Bowdoin College meet for a NESCAC game on Thursday, March 15 at Charlotte High School in Punta Gorda at 7:30 p.m.