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Freshman Carden (Villa Maria Academy) leads Tufts to stunning upset of top-ranked Middlebury in NESCAC final

Sunday, 8th May 2022

Categories College, Girl's/Women's, Posted 5/8/22
From Press Release

Freshman sensation Margie Carden (Villa Maria Academy) scored five goals – over half for her team – and led the Tufts University women’s lacrosse team to a stunning 9-8 victory over host and top-seeded Middlebury College today in the NESCAC Championship.

Margie Carden …5 goals

The Jumbos (15-3) ended the Panthers’ 42-game winning streak dating back to March 2019. Middlebury (17-1), who did not play last season due to COVID-19, had defeated Tufts 14-7 during the regular-season on April 2.

Tufts, which won the NESCAC title for the second year in a row, earns the league’s automatic berth into the NCAA Tournament. Middlebury, ranked #1 in last week’s IWLCA national poll, will get an at-large NCAA berth.

The Jumbos were tremendous defensively this afternoon, holding Middlebury under 10 goals for the first time since the 2019 season as well. Senior goalie Molly Laliberty made nine saves and classmate Madison Lehan came up with three caused turnovers and two ground balls.

Leading 9-8 late in the game, Tufts played the final 1:23 down a player due to a yellow card. Middlebury’s Hope Shue would earn two free-position opportunities in the final minute, including one with eight seconds left, but both were blocked out of her stick by the Jumbo defense.

Carden continued her stand-out freshman season (51 goals) for Tufts by giving the Jumbos a 5-4 lead late in the third period, a goal early in the fourth to make it 7-5 and scoring a key insurance goal to make it 9-7 with 3:19 to play.

Tufts won draw controls 13-8, led as always by Anna Clarke with five and Genna Gibbons adding four.

Today’s game was tied 5-5 heading into the fourth quarter. Tufts took control of the game with three goals in the first four minutes of the fourth – Clarke, Carden and Caroline Walter – to lead 8-5. As expected, Middlebury had an answer with goals by Shue and Erin Nicholas closing the gap to 8-7 with 9:22 on the fourth-quarter clock. Laliberty had two of her three fourth-quarter saves at that point, and then a ground ball by Gibbons led to a Tufts clear and a goal by Carden assisted by Walter for a 9-7 Jumbo advantage at 3:19. Middlebury’s Grace Getman brought the margin back down to one goal (9-8) quickly. The Panthers would get a pair of great chances to tie it, but the Tufts defense stood tall.

The Jumbos had taken a 3-0 lead early as Carden scored twice in the first eight minutes of action. Middlebury had the only two goals of the second quarter – by Getman and Niki Mormile – to tie the score at 3-3 at the half. The teams traded two goals apiece in the third.

Panther goalie Gina Driscoll made six saves while Erica Barr caused four turnovers and picked up three ground balls. Mormile, Shue and Getman all scored twice.



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