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Panther field hockey tops Jeffs in opener

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team opened its season at home on Sunday by defeating NESCAC rival Amherst, 4-1, in a contest featuring two teams ranked in the top 10 in NCAA Division III.
The 1-0 Panthers, ranked No. 5, were set to host non-league foe St. Lawrence on Wednesday before a Saturday NESCAC game at Connecticut. Amherst dropped to 1-1 with Sunday’s setback.
The Panthers took charge on Sunday with four goals in the opening 12:19 and scored in the first minute. Annie Leonard collected a ball down the right side and sent a pass into the circle to Pam Schulman. With defenders around her, Schulman one-timed a shot into the bottom left corner of the Amherst goal.
A little less than three minutes later, Middlebury’s Jillian Green dribbled down the right side, cut toward the middle of the field, and sent a pass to a streaking Alyssa DiMaio, who received the ball in front of the goal and tapped it home.
The hosts made the score 3-0 at 11:38. Schulman sent a hard shot from 10 yards out that Amherst goalie Rachel Tannenbaum kicked away. After a scramble following the save, Green sent a low shot into the back of the goal.
Just 41 seconds later, Middlebury’s Josie Trichka capped off the Panther scoring with an unassisted goal cutting in from the left side.
In the 14th minute, Amherst had a pair of scoring chances that were turned away. Madeline Tank laced a shot from six yards out on the left side that Panther goalie Emily Knapp denied with her right pad. Knapp also denied Caroline Feely’s rebound bid on the play.
At 27:42, Amherst got on the board after drawing a penalty corner. On the insertion pass, Annika Nygren blasted a shot that Tank redirected in front of the Middlebury goal for the score.
In the second half, scoring chances were harder to come by, and Middlebury cruised to the 4-1 win.
Knapp collected five saves. For Amherst, Tannenbaum made four saves in the first half, while Emily Horwitz didn’t allow a goal in the second half and made one save.

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