Panther field hockey wraps up season with wins

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team, now ranked No. 2 in NCAA Division III, wrapped up its regular season with two high-scoring home wins. The Panthers, 13-2 overall and 9-1 in NESCAC play, have earned the top seed in league play and will host the No. 8 seed on Saturday.
The time and team was determined by action on Wednesday after the deadline for this edition of the Independent. The NESCAC Final Four will be on Nov. 4 and 5 at Middlebury if the Panthers win on Saturday.
On this past Saturday the Panthers doubled up Bates, 6-3, snapping the 8-6 Bobcats’ five-game winning streak. 
Bates took an early lead on an Emily Gianunzio goal that snapped what had been a 253:41 scoreless stretch against Middlebury. Bates made it 2-0 at 13:58 of the half on a Jessie Moriarty strike.
The Panthers tied the game with two goals in 2:12. Grace Jennings swept in her own rebound with 10:36 left in the half and soon afterward Jennings stole the ball and set up Julia Richards.
Bates retook the lead 1:43 into the second half on a Sydney Beres strike, but Middlebury closed with four straight goals. Marissa Baker tipped in an Audrey Quirk pass, Erin Nicholas rapped home a Baker pass, Baker scored from Jennings, and Jennings added the final goal.
Panther goalie Abby Furdak made one save, while Adelae Durand had 10 stops for Bates. Middlebury held edges of 23-5 in shots and 13-1 in penalty corners.
On Tuesday the Panthers increased their winning streak to nine with a 6-2 win over visiting No. 8 Williams (11-4, 6-4 NESCAC).
The Ephs’ Libby Dolan scored 2:23 into the contest. Goals from Lauren Schweppe; Annie Leonard, from Nicholas; and Emma Johns made it 3-1 at 14:55.
Eph Hannah Goodrick made it 3-2 later in the half, but Nicholas scored before the break to restore the two-goal lead.
In the second half Middlebury added goals by Jennings, from Baker, and Nicholas. Furdak made five saves, while Abby Lloyd (4-4) made eight stops for the Ephs as Middlebury outshot Williams, 21-10.

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