Blue Lacrosse Advances to NEWMAC Semis With 15-9 Win Over Wheaton

Dacia Persky (Lauren Luo '20)
Dacia Persky (Lauren Luo '20)

NORTON, Mass. – Sophomore Dacia Persky (Las Vegas, Nev.) scored five goals and added an assist to lead No. 6 Wellesley College lacrosse to a 15-9 victory over No. 3 Wheaton College in the quarterfinals of the 2017 New England Women's & Men's Lacrosse Championship (NEWMAC) on Saturday afternoon at Nordin Field. 

2017 NEWMAC Women's Lacrosse Championship Bracket

Wellesley improves to 9-7 overall and advances to play No. 2 Babson College on Saturday, May 6, at Springfield College's Stagg Field. Wheaton ends the year at 9-9 overall. 

Persky unleashed a team-high nine shots and now has 11 goals and two assists in just two career NEWMAC postseason appearances. Seniors Nikki Sharkin (Summit, N.J.) and Mary Lemay (Longmeadow, Mass.) supplemented the Blue attack with five and four point efforts, respectively. Sharkin poured in four goals on seven shots, adding an assist, two ground balls, six draw controls and a caused turnover. Lemay recorded a hat trick, to go along with an assist, two ground balls and three draw controls. Senior Courtney Peterson (Glastonbury, Conn.) scored a pair of goals and had three ground balls, two draw controls and two caused turnovers, while sophomore Lena Engbretson (Beaverton, Ore.) added a goal and two assists.

Sophomore Mady Lahm (Lyme, Conn.), who scored the first four goals of the game for the hosts, finished with a game-high six goals to lead the Lyons. Sophomore Kennelly Allerton (Unionville, Conn.), senior Angela Mallis (Falmouth, Maine), and first year Lilly Callahan (Wilbraham, Mass.) also scored for Wheaton, with Callahan adding two caused turnovers and Mallis scooping-up a game-high six ground balls. Senior Giovanna Bishop (Portland, Ore.) added two assists and senior Hannah Gasperoni (Hampton, N.H.) and sophomore Amy Livermore (Wilbraham, Mass.) each picked-up a helper. 

Lahm and Lemay exchanged goals to start the contest, the second coming with the Blue up a player at 21:33. Back-to-back goals from Persky pushed the Blue out to a 3-1 lead at 14:02, before Lahm scored again at 11:41 to make the score 3-2. Sharkin and Lahm exchanged goals at 10:26 and 9:53 to make the score 4-3, but Wellesley would go on to score five of the final six goals in the half to take a 9-4 lead into the break. Sharkin completed her hat trick with back-to-back goals at 5:36 and 4:56. Mallis struck back at 3:40, but the Blue netted three-straight, thanks to Peterson, Lemay and Persky, to end the first with a five goal advantage.

The Wellesley lead grew to six in the opening minutes of the second, as Lemay scored her fourth on a feed from Engbretson at 26:59. The Lyons scored three of the next four goals, with Callahan and Engbretson exchanging markers at 22:42 and 17:45, before Lahm and Allerton scored for the hosts at 17:35 and 15:58 to cut the lead down to four. A player-up advantage goal from Sharkin at 8:05 was followed by the final two goals of the game from Lahm, as Wheaton cut the Wellesley lead to three, at 12-9, with just under 7:30 to play. However, the Lyons would get no closer, as Wellesley ended the second half like they ended the first, scoring three-straight goals to close out the 15-9 victory.

Wellesley senior Wendy Nettleton (La Jolla, Calif.) made seven saves on 16 Wheaton shots to earn the win. Wheaton's Molly Witten (Bethesda, Md.) and junior Galicia Rothe (Key Biscane, Fla.) combined to make seven saves on 22 Wellesley shots in the setback. The Blue also finished with a 26-23 edge in ground balls and a 14-11 advantage in draw controls.

The start time for next Saturday's NEWMAC semifinal game against Babson will be announced later this week.