MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s soccer team will make its eighth NCAA Division III tournament appearance this weekend when the Panthers host an NCAA regional for the second consecutive season.
The 13-1-3 Panthers, ranked No. 13 in last week’s poll, will take on Bridgewater State on Saturday at 11 a.m., and Scranton will meet Endicott at 1:30 p.m. The winners will meet in the regional final on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
The Panthers earned the right to host the regional by defeating No. 17 Williams (12-3-2), 1-0, this past Saturday in the NESCAC tournament final. Carter Talgo scored the game’s only goal 38:41 into the contest as Middlebury won its third NESCAC championship. The Panthers extended their unbeaten streak to 16 games.
Williams had a great chance to score in the 12th minute, but Panther goalie Elizabeth Foody tipped a beautiful volley shot from Kristi Kirshe over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, Alex McInturf got a look at the goal, but her shot was saved by Panther defender Moria Sloan.
The game-winner was the third of the season from Talgo. Sarah Noble’s shot from 23 yards out was just tipped by Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter, and the ball fell into the goal mouth. Talgo was crashing the net and tapped the ball into the corner.
The Ephs carried more play and outshot the Panthers, 10-4. Foody finished the game with four saves to earn her fifth shutout of the season. Van Wetter made three stops for Williams.
The NESCAC title was the first for the Panthers since 2006; they also won in 2000. Williams was looking for its seventh championship.
This past Saturday, the Panthers defeated visiting Tufts, 2-1, in the NESCAC semifinal round.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at 34:09 with a Sarah Noble goal. Julia Favorito struck a crossing ball on a restart from the right side, and Noble headed it home. The assist was Favorito’s NESCAC-leading seventh of the season.
Tufts tied the game with 1:28 left in the first half. Allie Weiller played a through ball ahead to Caitlin Brandman, who ripped a shot into the bottom right corner of the net from 15 yards out.
Middlebury threatened early in the second half, with a corner kick by Moria Sloan just two minutes in. The ball was skipped by Molly Parizeau before Tufts’ keeper Kristin Wright (4 saves) knocked the ball away. Four minutes later, Parizeau had a good look, as her shot from close range hit a defender.
Middlebury’s game-winner came at 55:28 after some nice individual work from Scarlett Kirk. After beating a pair of defenders in the middle, Kirk was challenged by Tufts goalie Kristin Wright (four saves) before shooting from 17 yards out. The ball hit the right post and bounced to Jamie Soroka, who knocked it in.
The Panthers held a 14-8 shots advantage, and Foody finished with three saves.