By Matt Noonan | @MattyNoonz11
Behind a combined eight goals and one assist from Jane Earley and Emma McDonagh, the Middlebury College women’s lacrosse team captured its seventh NCAA Division III national championship this afternoon with a 14-9 win over Salisbury University.
With the win, the Panthers conclude their 2019 campaign with an impressive 22-1 record, which includes the nation’s longest winning streak of 22-straight victories dating back to a 16-1 win over Springfield College on Friday, March 8, 2019.
Middlebury began Sunday’s championship by racing out to a 3-0 lead before constructing a five-goal run minutes later as the Panthers entered the break leading Salisbury, 8-4.
Salisbury trimmed the deficit early in the second half with goals from Alexis Strobel, Lydia McNulty, and Emma Skoglund before McDonagh halted the three-goal burst with an unassisted strike with 14:50 remaining.
Kirsten Murphy helped Middlebury push ahead, 11-7, on a free position attempt with 12:03 remaining, but Salisbury responded with a strike from Courtney Fegan that was set-up by McNulty with 10:23 remaining.
The Panthers would counter with a trio of goals, including a pair from McDonagh before Skoglund netted the Sea Gulls’ final goal of the contest with 46 seconds remaining.
Sunday’s championship, which was held in Ashland, Virginia, was halted with 3:10 remaining in the second half due to inclement weather. The delay lasted roughly one hour before the game resumed around 5:40 p.m. eastern time.
Middlebury secured a date with Salisbury by defeating Wesleyan University, 16-8, in yesterday’s NCAA Division III semifinals. The Sea Gulls punched their ticket to the title game with an exciting 14-11 win over Tufts University.
Julia Keith scored her 20th win between the pipes with nine saves on 18 shots, while Salisbury’s Skye Graham concluded the contest with five saves on 19 shots.
Middlebury concluded the game with 14 draw controls, while Salisbury scooped a game-high 18 ground balls.
Sunday’s win provided coach Kate Livesay with her third national championship, including her second with Middlebury. Livesay guided the Panthers to their sixth national championship in 2016 when the Blue and White beat Trinity College, 9-5.
Livesay earned her initial Division III women’s lacrosse crown on the sidelines in 2012 when she led the Bantams of Trinity to an 8-7 win over Salisbury.