Middlebury's Second-Half Rally Ends York's Season in Regional Final

Photo courtesy of Ryan Griffith
Photo courtesy of Ryan Griffith

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – The York College women's lacrosse team fell in the regional final of the NCAA Tournament to Middlebury College 11-10 on Sunday afternoon. The Spartans jumped out to a 9-4 lead in the early stages of the second half, but the Panthers responded with seven straight goals to completely flip the game, take its first lead with just 10:58 left and hanging on despite a late Spartan push. York drops to 0-4 all-time in the regional final.

NCAA Tournament Regional Final

Final Score: York 10, Middlebury 11

Records: York 15-5, Middlebury 19-2

Shots: York 25, Middlebury 31

Shots on Goal: York 18, Middlebury 23

Saves: York 12, Middlebury 8

Draw Controls: York 11, Middlebury 12

Ground Balls: York 13, Middlebury 19

Turnovers: York 14, Middlebury 10

Caused Turnovers: York 7, Middlebury 13

Fouls: York 21, Middlebury 22

Free Position Shots: York 2-for-5, Middlebury 4-for-8

How it Happened

Regan Cook got things started for the Spartans, scoring just over five minutes into the game, pushing York out front. Less than a minute later, Meghan Fox drew a foul and then scored on the restart, doubling the York lead with 24:02 to play in the first half. The start was as picture perfect as it could be for the Spartans, but the Panthers quickly responded, cutting their deficit in half just 15 seconds later.

• Around the 20-minute mark, Charlotte Wright made a big save on the defensive end, leading to a transition opportunity for York, and another goal from Fox to make it 3-1. The sophomore was a constant threat, earning another free-position attempt with 18:09 left, but her shot flew wide. Wright made three early saves to keep the Green and White's cushion at two goals. Middlebury would eventually make it 3-2 with 14:25 left in the first half. But then, while the Panthers attempted to equalize, Nicole Clauter caused a turnover with a remarkable check and then ground ball, preserving the Spartan lead.

Baleigh Bradley held the ball on the wing with 9:43 left, and then whipped a pass to a cutting Cook, who scored her second of the game, again extending the advantage to two goals. But, Emma McDonagh scored her second of the game with 7:16 to play, again pulling within one, at 4-3. The Panthers won the ensuing draw, immediately rushed to the net, but fumbled a shot. They scooped the ground ball and unleashed a shot, but Wright was up to the task, making another stop in net. Wright continued to make saves to preserve the lead, and the York offense capitalized on another save to double the lead again. Hayley McCormick assisted on Caitlin Rankin's goal with 5:23 before the break, and then Fox scored her third of the game less than two minutes later. Wright made six first-half saves to keep York up front, taking a 7-4 halftime lead.

• The Spartans scored the first two goals of the second half, including one from Fox just three minutes into the final period. Melissa Meehling scored just four minutes later, and York had its largest lead of the game at 9-4 with 23:33 left. From there, though, the Panthers dug in. Middlebury scored the next four goals unanswered to climb back within one goal at 9-8. Then, with 11:11 remaining, the Panthers pulled even for the first time since York took its 1-0 lead. Middlebury would then score to go up 10-9.

• With 6:20 remaining, Wright made another massive save to keep York within one at 10-9. But still, on the next offensive possession, the Spartans were turned away, continuing what would be a 23-minute scoring drought. The York defense earned another stop, forcing a shot clock violation with three minutes to play, still down a goal. But McDonagh scored again, her sixth of the game, this time on a free-position shot with 1:33 left to take an 11-9 lead. Devin Hursey whipped a pass to McCormick, and the sophomore buried her shot with just 28 seconds left to pull within one to give York some life. Middlebury, however, won the ensuing draw and was able to run out the clock to clinch a berth in the Final Four.

Spartan Leaders:

Meghan Fox: 4 goals, 6 shots, 2 ground balls, 1 caused turnover

Regan Cook: 2 goals, 6 shots

Melissa Meehling: 2 goals, 4 shots, 2 caused turnovers

Hayley McCormick: 1 goal, 1 assist, 1 shot

Panther Leaders:

Emma McDonagh: 6 goals, 1 assist, 10 shots, 1 draw control

Hollis Perticone: 3 goals, 8 shots, 5 draw controls, 1 ground ball, 1 caused turnover

Goalie Comparison:

Charlotte Wright (YCP): 60:00 minutes played, 11 goals against, 12 saves (L, 15-5)

Kate Furber (MC): 60:00 minutes played, 10 goals against, 8 saves (W, 5-1)

Game Notes:

The Spartans are now 8-7 all-time in the NCAA Tournament … York is now 0-4 all-time in the regional final … York is now 0-2 against Middlebury in the NCAA Tournament … Meghan Fox finished her sophomore season with the most points on the team with 67 points on 57 goals and 10 assists … her 57 goals is good for tied for fourth in school history … Nicole Clauter set a school record for draw controls in a season with 112 … Clauter had 29 caused turnovers, the fourth-most in a season … Kayleigh Phillips finished with 84, the third-most all-time … Fox and Devin Hursey recorded 15 free-position goals this year, tied for the second-most in a season in school history … Charlotte Wright's 152 saves is the fifth-most in a year … her save percentage of .524 is the best in a year all-time.