Women’s soccer loses to Ephs in NESCAC semifinal

WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. —  The defending NESCAC champion Middlebury College women’s soccer team saw its season come to an end on Saturday with a 2-0 loss to host Williams in a NESCAC semifinal.
The Ephs, ranked No. 6 in NCAA Division III, improved to 16-1, but lost to Connecticut on penalty kicks in the league final on Sunday. The Panthers, who reached the NCAA final four in 2013, finished at 10-7.
 Middlebury had one of its best scoring chances in the 38th minute. Moria Sloan’s corner from the right side toward Sophia Kligler, who headed the ball past Eph goalie Hannah Van Wetter. But her shot hit the crossbar and the match remained scoreless headed to the half.
In the 67th minute, the Panthers won a free kick near the left corner flag. Sloan placed an in-swinging ball that Van Wetter tried to punch away. The ball bounced to Carter Talgo, but her shot from 10 yards out sailed high.
But the Ephs created more pressure, and cashed in two chances in the late going. Williams produced its first goal in the 72nd minute. A pass back to Panther goalie Emily Eslinger was mishandled, allowing Alison Marauder to take a couple of touches and find an empty net.
In the 77th minute, Crystal Lewin collected an attempted Panther clearance on the right wing and crossed to Kristi Kirshe, who headed the ball home.
Williams held a 17-9 advantage in shots, while Middlebury had an 8-2 edge in corner kicks. Eslinger made six saves for the Panthers, including denying a breakaway, while Van Wetter made one save.

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