Panther eleven tops Bates, hits 5-0, Trinity next
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team concluded its regular season at 12-3, 7-3 in NESCAC play with two recent wins, but despite being ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division III the Panthers were not assured of hosting a NESCAC quarterfinal on this coming Saturday.
There were four games on the docket to be played on Wednesday, with three involving four teams in a logjam in the NESCAC standings. Wednesday games were played after the deadline for this edition of the Independent.
Tufts (7-2) stood in first, while Hamilton (7-3) was tied with Middlebury, and Amherst, Bowdoin and Trinity all stood at 6-3, heading into Wednesday evening games. A five-way tie would require NESCAC officials to go deep into their tie-breaking rule book to determine the top four seeds that would host games on Saturday.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers defeated visiting Bates, 3-0. The Bobcats dropped to 8-6, 3-6 in league play heading into Wednesday.
Grace Jennings gave Middlebury the lead about seven minutes into the game. Emma Johns carried the ball up the left side and fed Jennings, who found space behind her defender and finished.
A little less than five minutes later, Lauren Schweppe made it 2-0. Jennings carried the ball down the left side and centered to Schweppe, who tipped it home.
Schweppe made it 3-0 12:39 into the second half on a penalty corner. Johns inserted the ball to Jennings, who stopped it to allow Schweppe to blasted a shot into the right side of the cage.
Caroline Knapp recorded a defensive save to help preserve the shutout for goalie Emily Miller, who made five saves. Adelae Durand made one stop for the Bobcats as each team launched five shots at goal. Mount Abraham Union High School graduate Sam Reiss started at defense for Bates.
On Tuesday, Middlebury defeated host Williams, 3-2 in overtime, dropping the Ephs to 9-6, 6-4 in league play.
Audrey Quirk scored with 1:27 left in overtime to give the Panthers the win, capping an extra session in which they outshot the hosts, 8-2. Quirk scored with an assist from Annie Leonard, who had inserted the ball on a penalty corner and gotten it back before chipping it toward goal, where Quirk knocked home her first goal of the year. The goal came on the final of five straight corners the Panthers earned.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 10:04 into the game when Grace Jennings scored on a solo effort.
Williams tied the game 22:49 into the contest when Rachel Brissette converted a rebound on a penalty corner.
With 4:25 remaining the first half, the Panthers went on top when Johns scored her first career goal, with an assist from Schweppe.
The Ephs tied the game 1:31 into the second half when Libby Dolan scored from close range after a pass from Brissette.
Middlebury finished with advantages of 23-18 advantage in shots and 14-11 in penalty corners. Miller made six saves in goal to pick up the win, while Margaret Draper made 11 stops for the Ephs.