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Women's lax hangs with No. 1 Trinity for one half

LEWISTON, Maine -- No. 1 nationally ranked and defending Division III champion Trinity College broke away from a 3-3 tie through the first 24 minutes by outscoring the Bates College women's lacrosse team 14-1 over the final 36 minutes for a 17-4 NESCAC victory on Saturday at Garcelon Field.

The Bantams (5-0, 2-0 NESCAC) won their 13th straight game behind hat tricks from five different players: Megan Leonhard, Hadley Duncan, Caroline Hayes, Molly Cox and Kaitlin Hildebrand. Martha Griffin and Shea Kusiak had two assists apiece.

The Bobcats (3-4, 1-3 NESCAC) hung tough with the Bantams through the first 40 percent of the game, even assuming a 3-2 lead on first-year Kelan McCann's (Shrewsbury, Mass.) second goal of the game, scored with 15:57 left in the first half. McCann ventured into the teeth of Trinity's defense, sneaking a shot past Bantam goalie Emily Mooney while absorbing contact. It was the eighth goal in the past three games for the Bates rookie.

But Duncan answered emphatically 47 seconds later for Trinity, charging up the middle of the field and burying the equalizer past Bates first-year goalkeeper Hannah Jeffrey (Greenwich, Conn.), beginning a run of eight consecutive goals by Trinity that extended more than four minutes into the second half. The score remianed 3-3 until Duncan added her second tally with 5:46 left in the period. That followed a Trinity timeout at the 8:02 mark, after which both teams traded turnovers. Hayes picked up a loose ball, leading to Duncan's go-ahead goal. The Bantams won the ensuing draw and with 4:28 left, Leonhard's individual move faked out a Bates defender at the top of the circle, freeing her up to shoot into the top left corner for a 5-3 Trinity lead. Leonhard won the ensuing draw and the next, helping Trinity add two goals to its lead in the final minute -- first by Kusiak with 50 seconds left, followed by Leonhard's with 2.4 seconds left, giving Trinity a 7-3 halftime lead.

Trinity won its fourth straight draw to begin the second half, but turned the ball over to Bates, which gave it back soon after. With 26:45 to go in the period, Hayes scored on a Kusiak assist to make it 8-3, and Bates received a yellow card on the play as well, giving the Bantams the ball right back, and leading to Hildebrand's first goal, on another Kusiak assist. Hayes won the ensuing draw and quickly scored again to make it 10-3 before Bates interrupted Trinity's run.

With 24:12 Bates closed the gap to 10-4, on a play that began with junior Wally Pierce's (Weston, Mass.) caused turnover on a Bantam player, followed by a Bates clear as junior Bridget Meedzan (Ipswich, Mass.) pushed the ball up the middle of the field, Meedzan appeared to attempt to pass to a Bates attacker behind the Trinity goal, but the ball was deflected by a Trinity defender and ricocheted past Mooney for the score.

Trinity resumed its dominant play, however, fueled by four more draw controls in a row, to pad its lead into the double digits at 14-4 on goals by Duncan, Renee Olsen and back-to-back scores by Cox.

McCann's fellow first-year Alex Briody (North Kingstown, R.I.) scored a goal and assisted on McCann's first tally, giving her seven points in the last two games. Jeffrey made six saves over the first 49 minutes before giving way to sophomore Jill Conway (Andover, Mass.), who made one save and allowed two goals.

Trinity outshot Bates 30-6, including a 19-1 difference in the second half.

Bates hosts Bowdoin on Wednesday at 7pm (Video / Live Stats).