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Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Women’s lacrosse undefeated in yet another stellar season

The Panthers celebrate a goal in their 18-10 victory over Hamilton at Peter Kohn Field. Photo by Charlie Deichman-Caswell.
The Panthers celebrate a goal in their 18-10 victory over Hamilton at Peter Kohn Field. Photo by Charlie Deichman-Caswell.

The women’s lacrosse team is dominating this season in their quest for a third straight NCAA Championship. The team is 13–0 this season and 8–0 in conference play. It is also currently on a forty-one game win streak that dates back to May 15, 2022. 

Head coach Kate Livesay ’03 attributed the Panthers’ impressive run to the team’s work ethic.

“This team is committed,” Livesay said. “Whether that's just committed to the training, or our plays or execution, but also really committed to one another.”

This past weekend, the team earned one of their biggest wins of the season against Tufts University, who are currently ranked fourth in the country. Despite the challenge, the Panthers beat Tufts 14–13, with Middlebury holding Tufts narrowly scoreless for the last two minutes of the game to ensure their victory. Attacker Susan Rowley ’24 led the offense with five goals for Middlebury while goalie Gina Driscoll ’25 tied her career high of six saves in the contest.

“We knew the Tufts game was coming, and so I think we just prepped so hard over the week,” defender Grace Mumford ’25 said. “It was a really impactful moment for me just being able to see all of our hard work come together and culminate in really beautiful play.”

In the win over the Jumbos, the Panthers depth was on display, as seven different players stepped up and scored. The Panthers currently boast three players in the top 10 in the NESCAC between the goals and assists leaderboards: Hope Shue ’25 leads the Middlebury women with 58, Rowley is right behind her with 53 and Caroline Adams ’26 has 42. Adams also leads the NESCAC in draw controls with 106.

“I think last year was a little bit of a one-two show between Jane Earley [’23] and Hope Shue, and now I think we really understand everybody out there needs to be threatening,” Livesay said.

Compared to last year’s championship-winning team, the 2024 women’s lacrosse team has more flexibility and is capable of employing a variety of different tactics. Many players on the team play a variety of different positions, and on defense, the Panthers use three different defensive schemes while last year they relied solely on one set strategy.

“This year we’re incredibly adaptable,” Mumford said. “That’s been really critical; being able to diversify our plays.”

Looking ahead, the Panthers hope to win their third straight national championship, and even though the team is undefeated, they know that there is always room for improvement.

“We're great 90% of the time, but in that 10% teams are finding the back of the net faster and more often than we want them to,” Livesay said. “But I think at the end of the day, for us to be where we want to be, we'll need to tap into the depth of our attack and that will carry us through.”