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No. 11 Tufts passes women's lacrosse down the stretch

Brallier

Gross

Meedzan

Howe

Krueger

Dannis

C. Pierce

 

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 11 nationally ranked Tufts pulled away from an 8-8 tie with three unanswered goals down the stretch, gaining an 11-8 NESCAC win over the Bates women's lacrosse team on Wednesday at Garcelon Field.

Tufts' Casey Egan scored five goals, doubling her output for the season, to go with one assist to lead the Jumbos (4-2, 3-1 NESCAC). Gabby Horner and Stephanie Perez added two goals apiece, and Lara Kozin pitched in with a goal and two assists. Kelly Hyland also had a pair of assists.

Bates sophomore Jenn Brallier (Chambersburg, Pa.), this week's NESCAC Player of the Week, had another stellar game with three goals and three assists, for a career-high six points. Senior Briana Gross (North Andover, Mass.) scored twice, and both first-year Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) and senior Emily Howe (Carlisle, Mass.) scored once and assisted once.

Tess Shapanka tended goal for Tufts in the second half and earned her first win of the season, making seven saves and allowing just two goals. Sara Bloom started in goal for the Jumbos.

Bates goalie Mara Krueger (St. Louis, Mo.) had seven saves for the Bobcats. Junior Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) had a game-high eight draw controls, and first-year SooHee Yoon (Lexington, Mass.) had a game-high three caused turnovers.

Tufts came out ahead 7-6 after one half of play, shaking off a series of narrow Bates leads: 1-0, 2-0, 2-1, 3-2, 4-3, 5-3 and 5-4. Perez scored on an assist by Kaitlyn Leidl to tie the game at 5-5 with 7:53 left in the period after Kozin netted her 11th tally of the season at the 9:16 mark. Eaton and Horner both scored again for Tufts at athe 4:48 and 2:30 marks for a 4-0 run over a span of 6:44. Gross got one back for the hosts, netting her 12th goal of the year on an assist by Meedzan with 1:11 left.

Egan scored three of her goals in the first half, and Brallier scored all three of hers in the opening period as well. The sophomore attacker made a particularly outstanding play after the Jumbos evened the game at 2-2 on Egan's second straight goal. After Sterling Champion controlled the ensuing draw for Tufts, Brallier, who had assisted on both of Bates' game-opening goals, picked off Champion's pass attempt at midfield and outran the Tufts defense to shoot past Bloom as Bates retook the lead at 3-2.

Howe opened the second half with a goal on Brallier's third assist, evening the game at 7-7 with 29:19 to gol. Egan answered quickly with another goal, however, after Perez controlled the draw. With 24:09 to go in regulation, Bates junior Caroline Pierce (Weston, Mass.) dropped the ball in tight quarters near the Tufts goal, but was able to pick the ball up and quickly flick it past Shapanka to retie the game at 8-8.

Unfortunately for the Bobcats, Pierce's goal was the team's last, and Tufts outshot Bates 12-10 the rest of the way while outscoring the Bobcats 3-0. The Jumbos finally finished off a possession that included six shots with Egan's fourth goal of the game with Horner's second goal of the game with 15:17 left. Bates gained control of the ball after Tufts won the draw control, but three Bates straight Bates shots couldn't cash in, and the Jumbos countered with a one-shot scoring possession on Perez's 13th goal of the season, assisted by Egan, for a 10-8 Tufts lead with 11:21 left, prompting a Bobcats timeout.

An exchange of shots by both teams over the next six minutes ended with Egan's fifth tally, putting the Jumbos in firm control at 11-8 with 5:08 left.

Bates will play host to Amherst in another NESCAC game on Saturday at 12 p.m., the second in a four-game homestand for the Bobcats. All of Bates' home games can be followed via Live Stats and Video Webcast.

STATS: Tufts 11, Bates 8