Panthers complete season with fifth trip to national tourney
WATERVILLE, Maine – Colby College seniors Sarah Lux, Katie Griffin, and Alex Mintz combined for nine goals and five assists Saturday afternoon to help the Mules to a 16-5 victory over Plymouth State University in an NCAA Division III Tournament second round game at Bill Alfond Field.
Colby will take on Williams College in a third round game next Saturday at Cortland State (time TBA). The Mules fell 10-9 in double overtime to Williams earlier this year in a game they gave up three goals in the final minutes of regulation to let the Ephs send the game to overtime.
Plymouth State, which was making its fifth career appearance in the NCAA Tournament and first since 2006, finished its season at 12-5.
The Mules received big games from Lux (3 goals, 3 assists), Griffin (4 goals), and Mintz (2 goals, 2 assists) as leading goal scorer Lindsey McKenna was out due to injury and NESCAC Player of the Year Katharine Eddy had just one point. The Mules also received a big game defensively from another senior -- Kirsten Karis; she had four caused turnovers, five ground balls, and one draw control.
Junior Amy MacDonald (Hull, Mass.) and freshman Caroline Vonachen (Framingham, Mass.) led the Panthers with two goals apiece, and sophomore Emily Tilton (Cranston, R.I.) also scored once. Junior Molly Gleason (Haverhill, Mass.) collected two draw controls to tie her own school record for draw controls is a season (112), set in 2012.
Plymouth State came out and stayed with the 11th-ranked Mules for the opening 10 minutes by playing at a slow pace on offense. The Mules scored first when Griffin tallied on a free-position shot, but the Panthers got a goal from Tilton off a pass from Gleason with 22:17 to play to tie the game.
Mintz put the Mules ahead for good with 19:01 remaining in the first half from Lux to start a 6-0 scoring run to end the half. Griffin scored again with 14:14 to go from Mintz and then added two more free-position scores with 9:03 and 7:25 to the break. Lux scored just 24 seconds after Griffin's fourth goal of the game and Sara Miller added the final goal of the half from Lindsay McCabe for a 7-1 margin.
The Mules made it an 8-0 scoring run with the opening two goals of the second half from Miller on a free-position shot and Lux from Mintz.
After MacDonald scored her first goal for Plymouth State with 23:38 to play made it 9-2, Dana Swaffield scored on another free-position shot after she had to enter the game after Mintz was shook up and left briefly after a hard foul. McCable made it 11-2 from Lux with 20:28 to go.
The Panthers cut the margin to 11-4 on back-to-back unassisted goals from Vonachen and MacDonald. The Mules, though, went on a 4-0 scoring run to thwart any comeback attempt. The Panthers got a second goal from Vonachen with 7:35 remaining, and Swaffield scored the final goal of the game for Colby with 25.6 seconds to play.
Colby goalies Michelle Burt, Claire Dickson, and Sarah Evans all played and combined for three saves. The Mules had a 45-8 advantage in shots.
PSU senior goalie Lorin Field (Hollis, N.H./Hollis-Brookline) made 12 saves and had three ground balls in about 47 minutes of play. Junior Casey Curran (Framingham, Mass.) stopped four shots in about 13 minutes.
The game also marked the end of a record-breaking career for Field. She completes her career with a school standard 41 victories (41-18) and a record 545 saves, posting a 8.38 goals against average and a .554 saves percentage.
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