Middlebury, Vt. - The Castleton women's lacrosse team's nine-game winning streak came to an abrupt end on Wednesday, May 8 when they fell to Middlebury College 20-3 in the first round of the NCAA Tournament.
The Spartans qualified for the tournament by defeating Thomas 21-12 in the North Atlantic Conference Championship, earning their second consecutive berth, but were ejected from the tournament in the first round for the second straight year.
Castleton attacker Amanda Flodstrom scored twice and Jessica Taplin tallied a goal and two assists as the Spartans were knocked out by the Middlebury Panthers. Liza Herzog and Chrissy Ritter each notched three goals for the Panthers while Katie Ritter netted a pair of goals and dished out two assists.
Middlebury jumped out to a quick 5-0 lead over the Spartans, with Ellen Halle and Chrissy Ritter each scoring a pair of goals within the first seven minutes of play. After a fifth Panthers goal, Castleton finally got on the board when Taplin found Flodstrom in front of the net for a quick strike at 21:33.
After the Spartan score, the Panthers went on a 7-0 run, ranging 16:43 of play before Castleton could strike again. Taplin found Flodstrom for the second time on the day with 4:50 remaining in the half to cut the Middlebury lead to 12-2.
In the second half, Middlebury held Castleton scoreless for nearly the entire frame, rattling off seven consecutive goals and extending their lead to 19-2. It wasn't until there were 41 seconds remaining in the game that Jessica Taplin found the back of the net, giving the Spartans their third goal of the game. Cat Lincoln added a Middlebury goal with seven seconds left to ice the game.
Alyssa Palomba earned the win in net for Middlebury, allowing two goals and making two saves in the first half. Katie Mandigo and Madeleine Kinker split time in the second frame, with Mandigo recording two saves and Kinker allowing a goal. Meghan Els took the loss for the Spartans, allowing 16 goals and recording seven saves. Lily Derbyshire entered in the second half to make three saves.
Castleton's season ends with a 10-8 record, their second-straight NAC Championship, and third NCAA Tournament berth in four years. Middlebury will move on to the second round of the NCAA Tournament where they will take on Endicott College.