Panther women’s soccer to host NESCAC Final Four

MIDDLEBURY — The top-seeded Middlebury College women’s soccer team defeated visiting No. 8 Colby, 3-1, in a NESCAC quarterfinal on Saturday, and the 11-1-3 Panthers (8-1-1 NESCAC) will host the league’s final four this weekend.
The Panthers will entertain No. 6 Tufts (9-6, 5-5 NESCAC) at 11 a.m. on Saturday, and No. 2 Williams (11-2-2, 7-2-1) will square off against No. 4 Trinity (12-3, 7-3) in the other league semifinal.
The final is set for noon on Sunday, with the winner earning the league’s automatic berth to the NCAA Division III tournament. Middlebury was ranked No. 14 in last week’s coaches’ poll, and Williams was No. 22; at least those teams could earn at-large bids regardless of results this weekend.
In 2012, the Panthers lost in a regional final at home to Misericordia University. The Panthers have made seven NCAA appearances, and in 2008, 2009 and 2011 they reached the round of 16 in the tournament.
This season in NESCAC play, Middlebury defeated Tufts at home, 2-0, and posted wins at Trinity and Williams by 2-1 and 3-1, respectively.
On this past Saturday against Colby (5-7-3, 1-6-3 NESCAC), the Panthers earned a 23-3 shots advantage and took the lead 23:12 into the contest. Leading scorer Scarlett Kirk left-footed home a ball that Jamie Soroka had headed through the box to her.
Colby evened the score at 67:03, when Amanda Findlay converted an Abby Hatch rebound off Panther keeper Elizabeth Foody (one save).
Middlebury struck back 5:51 later. Julia Favorito played a ball to Kirk, who got behind the Colby defense and fired a shot into the corner. That was her 11th goal of the season, and it tied her for the NESCAC lead, while Favorito’s sixth assist also tied her for the NESCAC lead.
Carter Talgo added the insurance score with 5:37 remaining, pouncing on the rebound of a Kirk shot that left the ball rolling across the goalmouth. Colby goalie Emily Brook stopped 11 shots. 

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