Panther field hockey wins first contests

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team opened its season with a pair of home victories. The Panthers, ranked No. 4 in NCAA Division III in preseason polling, will next visit Amherst on Saturday and then host Hamilton on Sunday at noon.
On this past Saturday Middlebury scored the game’s final three goals in a 4-1 win over NESCAC opponent Connecticut College (0-2, 0-1).
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead 16:52 into the game when Molly Freeman tipped in a shot from Lauren Schweppe on a penalty corner. Conn. tied the game at 1-1 at 22:27, when Enya McGarry redirected a shot from Caroline Ferro.
Freeman struck again for the Panthers on a penalty corner as time expired in the first half, again tipping in a shot from Schweppe.
The lead grew to 3-1 2:29 into the second half on another penalty corner tally that was Annie Leonard’s 60th career goal, good for a third-place tie in program history. Audrey Quirk inserted the ball to Grace Jennings, who stopped it to set up Leonard.
Erin Nicholas earned the final goal of the game at 50:50 mark by redirecting a deflected crossing pass.
Middlebury held advantages of 20-5 in shots and 11-4 in penalty corners. Megan Collins made one save for the Panthers, while Andi McGraw stopped eight shots for the Camels.
On Sept. 6 the Panthers coasted past visiting Castleton University, 12-1. Leonard, Freeman and Danielle Brown scored two goals apiece to lead the Panthers, while Collins surrendered a goal in 39:21 and Abby Furdak played a scoreless 30:39. The Panthers earned a 43-2 edge in shots at goal. Spartan goalie Tashia Pashby-Rockwood finished with 21 saves.
Otter Valley Union High School graduate Emily Lowell scored the Spartans’ first-half goal. Her younger sister and fellow OV grad, Allison Lowell, also took the field for Castleton, as did Mount Abraham alums Ellie Gevry and Gabrielle Ryan. 

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