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Banks, Langmuir push Mules past Bobcats and into playoffs

WATERVILLE, Maine – Rain once again threatened as Colby women's lacrosse took the field for its final regular season contest. Hosting Bates College, Colby began the game tied with both the Bobcats and Trinity College for sixth place in the NESCAC and fighting for a spot in the playoffs. A win would punch their ticket automatically; a loss would pass their fate into the hands of other teams.

Bates started the game aggressively, winning the opening draw and pressuring offensively to force a free position shot, which Kathryn Grennon netted less than one minute into the game. Colby quickly countered, however, when Robyn Pirie found Grace Langmuir to tie the game at one goal apiece. Though the Mules only won six of 14 draws in the first half, their stingy defense confounded the Bobcats, creating numerous turnovers and offensive opportunities. The Mules capitalized on almost all of them, accounting for the next six goals in the game. Robyn Pirie scored unassisted before Taylor Moore finished on a feed from Grace Crowell. Langmuir added her second goal of the game and Emma Banks scored on a free position shot before Bridget Horwood buried a loose ball in front of the net to increase Colby's lead to 5-1. Pirie added her second goal of the game before Bates was able to score again, 22 minutes after their first goal. The Bobcats were unable to slow Colby's tireless attack, however. Emma Banks added her second goal of the game and then Taylor Moore scored twice in 25 seconds to complete her first-half hat trick. Not to be outdone, Langmuir netted her third of the half off of a pass from Bridget Horwood, extending the Mules lead to 11-2 at halftime.

The Bobcats roared back to start the second half, cutting into Colby's lead with two quick goals by Summer Dias. Dias followed up her offense with an assist to Lila Hutchins to help the Bobcats to within seven. Colby's defense, aided by key saves from goalie Emily Podgorni, was able to slow the Bobcats' momentum, and after a series of back and fourth possessions, the Mules added to their lead when Grace Langmuir scored her fourth goal of the game off of a Taylor Moore assist. The tumultuous second half continued when Dias struck again, followed by a goal from Bates attack Katie Allard, but Colby continued to weather the comeback, this time aided by Grace Crowell, who scored her first of the game off of a free position shot. Summer Dias continued her inspired play, answering with her fourth goal of the half, and, after Margaret Smith added another goal for the Bobcats, the Mules' lead was down to four. However, Bates would get no closer. Showing the resiliency that has characterized their play at the end of this season, the Mules bounced back with goals from Robyn Pirie and Emma Banks. Though Smith would score again for the Bobcats, Banks answered with her fourth goal of the game to secure a 16-10 win for Colby.

Emily Podgorni finished with nine saves, while Melinda Edie led the defensive effort with four caused turnovers and six ground balls. The win gives Colby sole possession of the sixth seed in the NESCAC and sets up a matchup against Wesleyan in the first round of the playoffs, which start this coming Saturday at 12:00 PM(EST).