Panther women’s soccer to host league tournament game

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s soccer team will host a NESCAC quarterfinal on Saturday after splitting two recent NESCAC games to close the regular season.
The Panthers (12-3, 7-3 in league play) are seeded third for the NESCAC tournament and will host No. 6 Bowdoin (9-5-1, 5-4-1 NESCAC) at 12:30 p.m. on Saturday. Before the Panthers lost at first-place Williams on Tuesday, the Polar Bears were the last team to defeat them, 1-0 on Sept. 24.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers defeated visiting Bates, 3-0, on three late goals, all assisted by midfielder Amy Martin. The Bobcats finished at 1-7-1 in the league and 5-9-1 overall.
The Panthers had great chances from Emma Shumway, Adrianna Gildner and Martin before finally breaking through with 12:16 to go.
Martin carried the ball up the right side and crossed to Amanda Dafonte, who redirected the ball into the net while in traffic.
The Panthers doubled their lead about three minutes later. Martin cut in from the right side, drew Bates goalie Sarah McCarthy out of the net and touched a short pass to Gildner, who tapped in her team-leading eighth goal.
Rebecca Palacios capped the scoring in the 88th minute on another short feed from Martin. 
Panther goalie Kate Reinmuth made three saves for her fourth shutout of the season, while McCarthy finished with seven saves. Middlebury held advantages of 23-7 in shots and 6-2 in corner kicks.
On Tuesday, Williams, the defending NCAA Division III champion and this fall’s No. 2 ranked team, edged the Panthers, 1-0, snapping Middlebury’s eight-game winning streak. The Ephs improved to 14-0-1 and 9-0-1 in league play.
Middlebury came close to getting on the scoreboard in the 17th minute. Williams’ keeper Olivia Barnhill stopped Gildner’s redirection of an Amanda Hotvedt corner kick, and a defender denied a second scoring bid after the rebound bounced to Hotvedt and she sent the ball back into the penalty area.
The Ephs scored in the first half, Audrey Thomas chased down a pass from Kristi Kirsche, eluded Middlebury keeper Kate Reinmuth and touched a shot home off the right post at 15:39.
In the second half, Middlebury had a great opportunity to pull even in the 68th minute, but Barnhill dove to deny Katherine Hobbs’ shot from five yards out toward the left side of the net.
The Panthers had another chance with about five minutes left. Alissa Huntington a shot from the top of the penalty area, but Barnhill again dove to her right for the save.
Reinmuth made three saves during the opening half, while Ursula Alwang stopped the only shot she faced in the second stanza. Barnhill made four saves. Williams held a 10-5 advantage in shots, but the margin for shots on goal was only 5-4 in favor of the Ephs. 

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