WATERVILLE — Less than five minutes to play in Colby College’s NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse first-round tournament game Wednesday night. Colby senior Lisa Hoopes gets a pass from Tess Petesch, shoots, and scores. Hoopes screams, raises both arms in the air, and hugs the first teammate she sees.
The goal didn’t mean anything in the outcome — it was Colby’s 18th goal in a 19-3 victory. But for a starting defender like Hoopes to score a goal was one of the night’s best moments.
“That was my third goal of my career,” Hoopes said. “The coolest thing about that was we just ended our last home game ever on our field with all seven seniors on attack. Me and the other defender, Megan Mooney, the attackers tried to let us score, so that was really great. That was the most special thing. It’s not even about the scoring. It’s about being together.”
Mooney also scored for the Mules, who play again at 2:30 p.m., Saturday against the College of New Jersey in a game hosted by Trinity College. TCNJ (14-4) is ranked 10th in the latest Division III national poll, while Colby is seventh.
The Mules (13-4) played without two starters — Sarah Lux and leading scorer Katharine Eddy — but had so much depth they could afford to rest them back to full health for this weekend. Colby led 2-0 after 1 minute and 13 seconds, 11-0 after 20 minutes, and 12-1 at halftime.
Alex Mintz finished with two goals and six assists, while senior Kate Pistel had three goals and one assist.
“It’s a tough week. It’s the last week of classes,” Colby coach Karen Henning said. “So coming out and being focused was really important. It was one of our goals today, not to be distracted by everything else, and come out and take care of business. We don’t want to look too far ahead, but there are things we want ahead, but we had to take care of tonight before we could do that.”
Lasell averaged 17.6 goals per game before Wednesday, but the Lasers just didn’t have enough opportunities. Colby had a 16-8 edge in draw controls, and that helped lead to a 43-8 advantage in shots.
Should Colby win Saturday, the Mules will turn around and play Sunday. If the seeds hold, that game will be against Trinity, the undefeated defending national champion and a New England Small College Athletic Conference rival.
“I think a lot of people are excited now that we have an opportunity to play College of New Jersey,” Henning said. “We’ve never played them before. They’re a well-respected team. That gives us an opportunity, potentially, to play Trinity again — which I think the senior class, they would just love that opportunity to try one more time.”
“We need to play disciplined (this weekend),” Pistel said. “We need to limit our fouls, and hold the ball on attack. We need to possess it. That’s something that we’ve been working on for quite a while, and finally, we’re starting to be able to do that. So I think if we do that this weekend, we should, hopefully, be successful.”
Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243