Panther field hockey earns wins

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team opened the season with a pair of wins this past weekend, one on the road and one at home. Due to their win in the 2015 NCAA Division III final, the Panthers are ranked No. 1 as the 2016 season begins. They will host No. 15 Amherst on Saturday at 11 a.m.
On Saturday, the Panthers picked up a 3-0 NESCAC victory at Connecticut College. The Panthers outshot the Camels, 13-4, earned a 10-4 advantage in penalty corners, and allowed only one shot on goal, which goalie Emily Miller turned aside.
Middlebury’s first goal of the season came at 25:30 of the first half, when Molly Freeman redirected a pass in front of the goal from Annie Leonard.
The Panthers struck again 1:09 later, when Leonard scored on a shot from the left side of the circle after taking a pass from Susanna Baker. 
The Panthers struck for their third goal less than two minutes of the intermission, when Grace Jennings collected a loose ball in front of the net.
Ryley van der Velde made five saves for them 1-1 Camels.  
On Sunday, Leonard scored the game’s first three goals to spark the Panthers’ 5-1 victory over visiting Smith (1-3).
Middlebury took the lead in the sixth minute, when Leonard redirected Molly Freeman’s shot from the right side. At 13:48, Leonard she lofted in a cross from Susanna Baker. In the 25th minute when Leonard scored on a penalty corner after a pinpoint pass from Caroline Knapp.
Grace Jennings made it 4-0 2:27 into the second half by dribbling down the left side and sending a shot that pinged in off the far post.
Smith tallied its at 41:21, when Sophie Grace batted the ball out of the air on a rebound of a Julia Hamilton shot. Baker made it 5-1 at 54:18.
Middlebury finished with advantages of 18-3 in shots and 12-2. Miller made one save, while Cameo Tietje tallied five stops for the Pioneers.

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