WATERVILLE — A first-round game Wednesday in the NCAA Division III women’s lacrosse playoffs gave Colby a chance to make some improvements after Sunday’s loss to Williams in the New England Small College Athletic Conference final.

“We focused on our team attack,” Colby senior Amy Campbell said. “On Sunday things kind of fell apart.”

Nothing unraveled for the Mules at Bill Alfond Field on Wednesday. Colby scored the first nine goals and cruised to a 16-5 victory over the University of Southern Maine. The White Mules (14-4) face Cortland State at 2:30 p.m. Saturday at Hamilton College in the second round of the tourney.

“This is the third time (playing in the tournament) for the seniors,” said Campbell, an All-American. “We get to do something not many Colby athletes get to do.”

Playing in its first NCAA women’s lacrosse tournament game, the Huskies ended their season at 11-10.

Claire Donegan scored Colby’s first goal 41 seconds into the game. Two minutes later, Campbell scored the first of her game-high six goals.

Carly Rapaport, Katie Briody, Kate Gragnolati and Casey Thomas also scored first-half goals for the Mules, who built a 12-3 halftime lead.

“We talked about balancing our attack and no one feeling the pressure to take it all on themselves,” Colby Coach Karen Henning said. “Any of those seven on attack can be an option.”

After a couple of early chances, including a shot that hit the crossbar three minutes into the game, USM finally scored when Jessica Knight struck with 6:28 left in the first half. The Huskies were short-handed, with just one reserve on the bench.

“I’m really proud of how well my girls pushed themselves,” USM Coach Lauren Reid said. “Between injuries and people leaving the team, we’ve been short-handed, but I think that’s helped us become better conditioned.”

Knight and Mary Vaughan each scored twice for USM, which lost to Colby 21-4 on March 16.

“We definitely didn’t take them lightly,” Henning said. “(Reid) has done a great job with those young women.”

Samantha Kiesel made 15 saves for USM, while Sarah Warnke and Keryn Meierdiercks combined for four saves for Colby.

In Cortland State, the Mules face an unfamiliar opponent. That’s fine by Campbell.

“I like playing a team we haven’t played,” Campbell said. “We don’t have expectations in our heads.”


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