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Women's lacrosse gets NESCAC win at Wesleyan, 10-7









MIDDLETOWN, Conn. -- Sophomore Jenn Brallier scored a career-high four goals along with one assist while senior Briana Gross added three goals and an assist to complement the one-goal, three-assist effort of junior Joan O'Neill as the visiting Bates women's lacrosse team pulled away from homestanding Wesleyan University in the second half to grab a 10-7 NESCAC victory Saturday afternoon.

Bates recovered from an early 4-1 deficit with a three-goal run in a span of 3:39 to even the count at 4-4 with 6:53 remaining in the first half. Brallier (Chambersburg, Pa.) scored the final two goals of the stretch, with the tying goal set up by O'Neill (Westwood, Mass.) on a pass from down low on the right. Wesleyan regained the lead briefly when freshman Blair Ingraham scored at 4:10, capping a fast break set up by sophomore Lydia Kring.

Bates tied the contest again just 48 seconds later when senior Emily Howe (Carlisle, Mass.) turned a pass to the middle from Gross (North Andover, Mass.) into the Bobcats' fifth goal. Gross finished off the first-half scoring at 2:16 with what proved to be the game-winner, firing home a shot after taking a pass to the left side from Brallier, who had a free-position opportunity. Bates retained the lead the rest of the contest.

Most of the second half was tense as neither team scored for nearly 10 minutes. The Bobcats got on the board for a 7-5 lead at 20:25 when first-year Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) cruised around the net on the left side and scored unassisted. Wesleyan responded at 19:02 as sophomore Kayla Ellman completed her hat trick with a run to the middle after a pass on the left from senior Allie Lynch. Ellman had netted two of Wesleyan's opening four goals as the Cardinals led, 4-1, at 12:37 of the first half.

Nearly eight minutes ran off the clock with the score 7-6 before Brallier got her third of the game at 11:17, set up by O'Neill. The two connected again just 1:32 later to give Bates its first three-goal margin of the game at 9:45, 9-6. O'Neill's lone goal of the contest, though she leads the Bobcats with 14 this season along with eight assists for a team-high 22 points, made it 10-6 at 8:04 as she came from behind the net on the right with a strong run.

Kring got the last goal of the game with 6:49 to go on a free-position shot into an open cage due to a violation by Bates.

Brallier raised her goal total for the year to 13 while Gross improved her number to 10 along with nine assists to rank second on the squad with 19 points. Ellman now leads Wesleyan with 13 goals on the season.

Both goaltenders had solid games, especially in the second half, as Wesleyan junior Maggie Drowica collected 14 stops, 10 of those in the second stanza. Senior Mara Krueger (St. Louis, Mo.) picked up 11 saves for Bates, seven in the second half.

Junior Jenna Dannis (Milford, N.H.) had a strong game with team highs in ground balls (5), draw controls (5) and caused turnovers (3), to go with an assist. Sophomore Linnea Fulton (Bristol, R.I.) had four ground balls and two caused turnovers.

While Wesleyan holds a 7-5 edge in the overall series vs. Bates, the Bobcats have taken the last three meetings.  Each of the last seven games between the teams has been decided by three goals or less. 

Bates is back on the field Wed., March 30, hosting Tufts in a NESCAC battle at 5 p.m. All of Bates' home games can be followed via Live Stats and Video Webcast.

STATS: Bates 10, Wesleyan 7