Panthers’ Perticone Midfield Player of the Year

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Hollis Perticone lifts the periscope, on the lookout for an open teammate on the attack.

WOMENS COLLEGE LACROSSE

Hollis Perticone (DHS Class of 2014) scored on back-to-back penalty strokes to give Darien a field hockey state title in 2013, and a legend was born.

And that wasn’t even in the sport she’s gone on to star in at college.

When we needed the ball, she could get it.

— Kate Livesay, Middlebury Coach

Named IWLCA DIII Midfielder of the Year, Perticone is still clutching it up as Middlebury rising senior women’s lacrosse standout.

“Hollis scored the game-winner against Trinity in two overtimes,” said Middlebury coach Kate Livesay of one moment from Perticone’s momentous 2017. “So when I say she’s clutch, that’s a perfect example.”

Perticone was a two-sport force for Wave girl’s lacrosse, and field hockey, before really getting her claws out with Panthers ladies’ lax.

“It was so gratifying to see her recognized for her play this year, both as the NESCAC POTY and the IWLCA Midfield OTY, because she would never have expected it,” Livesay said of her junior season. “That’s just Hollis. She gives her best to her teammates and coaches without expecting anything in return.”

What she gives on the field, most of all, is the ball to her teammates.

“Hollis’s greatest strength on the field  — her special skill so to speak — is her ability to win draw controls,” said Livesay. “Hollis was huge for us in this respect. When we needed the ball, she could get it. She led the NESCAC in draw controls; more than 20 better than the next closest person.”

Perticone was All-NESCAC, 2017 NESCAC Player of the Year.

“Hollis adds a nice dynamic to the team in that she takes everything in stride,” said Livesay. “She is not one to dwell on a loss or over celebrate a win. She adds a balanced perspective to our team which is both refreshing and helpful as we deal with the highs and lows of the season.”

Middlebury finished the season 16-5, advancing to the 2017 NCAA Quarterfinals for the third-straight season.

“We rely on Hollis for a lot of things; everything really,” said Livesay. “She is a midfielder, so she is involved in nearly every play; from draw controls to settled offense; to settled defense and transition. We rely on her vision and field awareness.

“She’s an incredibly unselfish player and finds open players when you least expect it.”

The First-Team All-American led the conference with 78 draw controls, including a career-high nine in the regular-season finale against Williams.

“She is the type of player who makes her teammates look good and for that reason, she’s pretty fun to play with,” Livesay said. “We definitely rely on her in the big moments.”

Again, it was with draws that Perticone laid down the law.

“This year she took over the F&M game when we were struggling and had some injuries,” Livesay said. “She won every draw control and used her speed to create some amazing goal scoring opportunities.

“Likewise, in our Bowdoin OT game she was the one who won a draw control for us and then converted on the game-tying goal with one second left to force overtime.

“She is a clutch player.”

Perticone ranked third on the team in points with 44, goals with 33.

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Perticone becomes a Panthers’ captain her senior year.

In the blink of an eye

“Hollis is an explosive player,” Livesay said. “She can accelerate past defenders in the blink of an eye. It’s hard to find players that are as powerful or as dynamic as Hollis.

“She has a knack for finding the back of the net, too. I expect that in her senior year, we will see her reach new heights as far as scoring goals.”

She passed 100 career points during the NCAA Regional final, giving her 102 with 71 goals, 31 assists to start her senior year.

“I feel very privileged to have had the opportunity to coach her,” said Livesay. “And I look forward to seeing her take on a bigger leadership role as a senior captain next year.”

Her 20 caused turnovers ranked fourth on the team, and 29 ground balls fifth.

“She naturally likes to share the ball and will give the ball up even if she has a great scoring opportunity,” Livesay added. “I think as a senior she’ll be more inclined to pull the trigger and I’m excited to see how that will change her game.

“Overall, I just love how smooth she is on the field. She moves with ease and effortlessly runs by opponents. She makes the game look easy which is one of the best compliments you can give an athlete.”

Major fun-factor

What would be missing from the team, if, slipping through a time-warp had made last spring been her senior year? Had she decided to pick back up her other clutch instrument, the field hockey stick?

Or, if something equally not-going-to-happen, like Perticone magically teleporting off to a distant galaxy, for a gap year, were to whisk her from the roster?

(We would never hex her by using the dreaded “I” word).

“I think our team would be missing a major fun-factor if Hollis wasn’t there,” said Livesay. “She has a great sense of humor and no ego, so she’s able to laugh at herself and set her teammates at ease, even in the most pressure packed situations.”

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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