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Monday, Apr 22, 2024

Women’s lacrosse starts the season strong with three consecutive wins

Hope Shue ’25 has scored 10 goals already for the women’s lacrosse team this season.
Hope Shue ’25 has scored 10 goals already for the women’s lacrosse team this season.

The two-time reigning champion Middlebury women’s lacrosse team began their 2024 campaign this past week, looking to build on an undefeated 2023 season. The week featured away games against Babson College and Amherst College, and a home contest versus Bowdoin College. In that stretch, the Panthers outscored opponents by an impressive combined score of 50–13, winning all three contests comfortably. 

On Saturday, March 2, the Panthers opened their season with a bang, defeating the #19 ranked Amherst Mammoths 16–5. Hope Shue ’25 paced Middlebury’s offensive front, registering four goals and two assists in the game. She was joined by Caroline Adams ’26, who had four goals and one assist, Susan Rowley ’24, who had two goals and one assist, and Kate Motley ’27, who had two goals. 

The Panthers prevailed again at Babson the following day, marking Middlebury’s 30th straight win in a streak dating back to May of 2022. The Panthers rattled off 10 unanswered goals during the first and second quarters to propel them to an 18–5 victory over the Beavers. Throughout the game, Rowley had five goals and two assists, Shue recorded four goals and one assist, and Maggie Coughlin ’24.5 scored three goals. 

The following weekend, Middlebury faced Bowdoin College in their home opener on Saturday, March 9 at Peter Kohn Field, with hopes of maintaining the successes of the previous weekend. In a decisive 16–3 triumph over the Polar Bears, regular scorers Shue, Coughlin and Adams tallied five points each. Skylar Lach ’26, an emerging feature in this season’s offensive group, added three points in Saturday’s outing. 

While the powerful Middlebury offense often receives the credit for the team’s success, Shue described the defense as equally key to the recent wins. 

“Amherst, Babson and Bowdoin are young, gritty teams. Our offense showed poise in our ability to change our game plan and execute, but that adaptability would not have been possible without the backing of our incredible defense,” Shue said. 

Led by Chloe Newman ’24, Kylie Wilson ’25, Madison Paylor ’25, Grace Mumford ’25 and Haley Hamilton ’26, the Panthers’ defense combined for 8, 18 and 14 caused turnovers against Amherst, Babson and Bowdoin, respectively. Shue also noted that the success this past week will be valuable in motivating the Panthers as the season begins to ramp up.

“The week got the entire team really excited about how hard this team works and how much depth we have throughout the roster,” she said. “We know what we need to work on in the coming weeks, and we’re excited to improve.”

Looking forward, Shue stated that while the Panthers’ mentality is certainly guided by the end goal of a third-straight national championship, their focus remains steadfastly on the present. 

“The national championship isn’t something we talk about as a team often because we are so focused on each practice and each week’s competition,” she added. “Hopefully that mindset is what is going to push us towards another championship this year.” 

First ranked Middlebury looks to sustain their 31-game win streak throughout their spring break on the road, with upcoming away contests against Bates College, Franklin & Marshall College and The College of New Jersey. They will return to Peter Kohn Field on Saturday, March 30, in a NESCAC matchup against Wesleyan University.