Friday, April 18, 2014
WATERVILLE -- The wind and cold can be two of the toughest obstacles for the Colby women's lacrosse team this time of year. On Saturday, the Mules spent more time trying to stay warm than playing defense.
STICK WORK: University of New England’s Cassidy Ruocco,left, and Colby’s Abby Hatch battle for the ball in the first period Saturday at Colby College in Waterville. The Mules won 18-0.
Staff photo/Michael G. Seamans
Colby, ranked seventh in the country in the latest Division III poll, celebrated its home opener with a completely expected 18-0 victory over the University of New England on Saturday afternoon at Bill Alfond Field.
Less than seven minutes into the game, Colby led 5-0. The clock went to running time with 14:10 left in the first half, with the Mules ahead 10-0.
By that time, many Colby starters were jumping up and down on the sidelines -- not in joy, but as a form of survival. Two-time All-American Kate Pistel borrowed the trainer's winter gloves while she wasn't playing. Everyone was wearing winter jackets. As freshman goalkeeper Sarah Evans warmed up, she dropped a ball into a snowbank. Evans gave the snowbank a half-glance before deciding to fetch another ball.
"It's tough up here," said Colby junior Alex Mintz, who came off the bench for a goal and four assists. "It's a really windy field. But we're used to it. We practice up here every day."
Mintz made a couple nice passes from behind the net, setting up Abby Hatch and Dori McAuliffe for goals. Lindsey McKenna scored three goals for the Mules (2-0), while Hatch and four others had two apiece. Evans combined with fellow goalkeepers Michelle Burt and Claire Dickson for the shutout.
"We really try to come out every single game as it's our hardest opponent," Mintz said. "We knew that this wouldn't be as tough as some of our conference games, but it doesn't really matter -- we still came out just as hard as we always do."
Colby had a 46-3 advantage in shots. UNE (0-4) got only one of those shots on goal, and Dickson made the save for Colby's first shutout since defeating Husson, 20-0, last March.
"I think it's a very big deal," Colby coach Karen Henning said. "That meant they had to focus the entire time, and they had to play good 'D' every time it was down there -- and they couldn't have any mental lapses. That's what they did from start to finish."
Colby has some tougher competition waiting, most notably a game with No. 1 Trinity in Waterville on April 7. Trinity edged Colby twice in a pair of two-goal games last season, and went on to win the national championship.
"I think we're ahead of where we were last year, but I still think we have a long way to go," Henning said. "There are things we need to tweak, and work on, and clean up, but for four weeks into the season, I think it looks really good."
Matt DiFilippo -- 861-9243