Middlebury ends N.J. streak at 102 14-9 setback keeps Lions from 7th consecutive title

Division III women

May 19, 1997|By Katherine Dunn | Katherine Dunn,SUN STAFF

BETHLEHEM, Pa. -- Middlebury College stunned six-time defending champion College of New Jersey, 14-9, to win its first NCAA Division III women's lacrosse championship yesterday at Lehigh University's Goodman Stadium.

The top-seeded Panthers, who had been ranked No. 1 for most of the season, ended a 102-game New Jersey winning streak. New Jersey (formerly Trenton State) had last lost on April 13, 1991. The Lions (14-1) had won 20 consecutive NCAA tournament games.

The victory avenged three straight NCAA tournament losses to the Lions, including last year's 15-8 setback in the title game.

Bethesda native Amity Wall scored three goals and Garrison Forest graduate Missy Hopkins led a smothering zone defense that shut out New Jersey for 26 minutes, including most of the second half.

Yesterday, the Lions never led. Middlebury's Amy DiAdamo scored three of her six goals in the first eight minutes, and although the Lions managed to tie at 5, 6 and 7, Wall finished off a transition goal and Middlebury took an 8-7 edge into halftime.

The Panthers set up many two-on-one breaks and became the first team to score 14 goals on New Jersey in more than two years. The Lions had not allowed more than nine goals in a game since April 1995.

The Panthers, from central Vermont, become the third team to win an NCAA Division III women's lacrosse title. New Jersey or Ursinus had won every championship since the NCAA took over the tournament in 1985.

Pub Date: 5/19/97

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