MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- No. 5 nationally ranked Middlebury opened the 2013 season with a decisive 20-4 victory over the Bates women's lacrosse team on Saturday, in the Bobcats' NESCAC opener.
The Panthers (1-0, 1-0) broke open a 2-1 game by closing out the first half on an 11-0 run.
The Bobcats (0-2, 0-1) play back-to-back top 10 teams this weekend, facing eighth-ranked Amherst on Sunday at 1:30pm.
The Panthers used an effective crease attack, scoring numerous goals from point-blank range, including the game's first two goals. Laurel Pascal scored the first of her three goals on a set-up from Michaela Colbert at 29:34. Fifty-nine seconds later, Emma Kramer put a quick-stick shot past Bates first-year goalie Hanna Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.) on a set-up by Ellen Halle.
The Bobcats made it a 2-1 game at 25:59 on a free position score by sophomore Emma Getsinger (Darien, Conn.), before the Panthers unleashed their 11-0 run to close the half. Margaret Souther scored all four of her goals during the run, including the final goal of the half. Halle added five points with two more goals and three helpers, as Colbert and Pascal each scored during the burst.
Leading 13-1 to start the second half, Pascal capped her hat trick at 28:22 on a free position shot. Bates followed when first-year Moriah Greenstein (Glenmont, N.Y.) found the net on an assist from junior Wally Pierce (Weston, Mass.) at 25:20. Halle scored the next two for Middlebury, before Souther set-up Kramer at 19:27 for a 17-2 lead.
Greenstein assisted on Bates sophomore Kathy Yannopoulos' (Simsbury, Conn.) goal at 14:00, before Alice Pfeifer assisted on the next two Panther goals. Chrissy Ritter finished the Middlebury scoring at 6:32 on an unassisted tally and a 20-3 lead. Yannopoulos capped the scoring for both teams at 3:18 with a free position goal, for a 20-4 final
Halle's four goals and four assists led all scorers, while Souther netted four and dished one assist. Alyssa Palomba made three saves for the Panthers while collecting two game-highs with five ground balls and three caused turnovers.
Yannopoulos finished with two goals for Bates, while Greenstein added a goal and an assist. Jeffrey took the loss in net for the Bobcat,s allowing 19 goals while making 11 saves in 51:42. Sophomore Jill Conway (Andover, Mass.) allowed one goal in 8:18 of action.