Sharkin’s Four-Goal Effort Helps Blue Lacrosse Past Whitman, 14-9

Alex Berman Photography
Alex Berman Photography

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. -- Junior Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) scored four goals and classmate Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) add three more as Wellesley College lacrosse defeated Whitman College in a non-conference contest on Tuesday afternoon at Washburn Field on the campus of Colorado College.

Wellesley improves to 5-1 following their fifth consecutive victory, while Whitman, located in Walla Walla, Washington, drops to 1-7 overall.

Both Sharkin and Peterson added three ground balls for the Blue, while Sharkin also recorded four draw controls and three caused turnovers. First year Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) scored a pair of goals and added a team-high two assists. Engbretson also picked up three ground balls, three draw controls and three caused turnovers. First year classmates Ellie Chalphin (Philadelphia, Pa.), Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) and Olivia Strobl (Stafford, Va.) and sophomore Jenny Gubner (Pleasanton, Calif.) all scored goals for the Blue. Junior Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) had a goal and an assist.

Whitman first year Lindsay Schwartz (Kildeer, Ill.) tied with Sharkin for game-high honors with four goals. Schwartz unleashed a game-high 16 shots, adding five ground balls and three draw controls for the Missionaries. Senior Bea Sheffer (Bainbridge Island, Wash.) matched Schwartz's four-point effort with three goals and and an assist, while grabbing four ground balls and a game-high five draw controls. First year Meddie Florer (Bellevue, Wash.) and senior Emily Jordan (Long Beach, Calif.) had the remaining two Whitman goals, with Florer also tallying an assist and four ground balls in the contest.

Wellesley scored the first three goals of the game, taking a 3-0 lead within the first four minutes of play on goals by Sharkin, Engbretson and Peterson. Whitman responded in kind, tying the game thanks to three consecutive goals of their own. Schwartz and Sheffer each capitalized on free position shots on either side of Jordan's only goal of the game to make the score 3-3 at 19:46 of the first.

Peterson helped the Blue take the lead again at 18:33, slotting home a pass from senior Nicole DeCanio (Weston, Conn.) to make the score 4-3. From there, the Blue continued to rebuild their three-goal advantage, as Strobl scored at 17:31 and Sharkin tallied her second of the game at 9:41 to give Wellesley a 6-3 lead.

The Missionaries got two back off the stick of Schwartz, as the senior completed a first half hat trick with goals at 9:11 and 8:06, to draw Whitman back to within one at 6-5. However, the Blue would once again take a three goal advantage, as Peterson made good on a free position shot at 4:16, before Lemay scored her only goal of the contest at 3:16 to send Wellesley into the break with an 8-5 lead.

The Missionaries rallied to within a goal in the opening 11 minutes of the second half. Sheffer scored at 27:34 and Florer finished on a feed from senior Nina Henelsmith (Sebastopol, Calif.) at 19:04 to make the score 8-7. The one-goal deficit was as close as the Missionaries would get for the remainder of regulation.

The Blue countered with five unanswered goals in just over nine minutes to put the game out of reach. Chalphin opened the flurry when she scored on an assist from Engbretson at 11:36. Persky set-up the next two goals, as Engbretson added her second at 8:42 and Gubner scored her first of the year at 8:07. Persky would later score the final Wellesley goal of the game inside the final minute of play, but not before Sharkin scored at 4:25 and 2:06.

The Missionaries got late goals from Sheffer and Schwartz but it wasn't enough to overcome the deficit, as Wellesley took the 14-9 final.

The Blue return to Washburn Field on Thursday evening, March 24, for a matchup with the host Tigers of Colorado College at 6:00 PM EST. Whitman will play CC tomorrow, March 23, at 6:00 PM EST.