Middlebury women’s soccer splits at Regional
CAMBRIDGE, Mass. — The Middlebury College women’s soccer team won once at an NCAA Division III Regional this past weekend at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before bowing out in Sunday’s final to the host school, 1-0.
The 17th-ranked Panthers, who were hit heavily be graduation after winning an NCAA Regional a year ago, finished their season at 12-4-2.
On Sunday No. 13 MIT improved to 20-1-1 by edging Middlebury. The Engineers’ Sophia Struckman scored the game’s only goal 21:29 into the contest. Struckman carried the ball up the middle of the field and fired a shot from the top of the Panther box.
The Panthers pressed with just under 15 minutes in the first half, keeping the hosts pinned in their half of the field. Eliza Robinson had a free kick from 33 yards out sail high, and her shot less than a minute later was saved by MIT goalie Lily Mueller (two stops). Eliza Van Voorhis also saw her header on a corner kick by Alex Barber sail just over the crossbar.
Middlebury goalie Ursula Alwang (three saves) made a highlight-reel save 3:44 before the break. Emily Berzolla laced a shot from the left side that Alwang leaped high to punch over the net.
In the first minute of the second half Van Voorhis headed an MIT bid off the Panther goal line. Six minutes later Robinson pounced on a turnover at the top of the MIT penalty area, but her shot went high. In all, MIT outshot Middlebury, 11-10.
On Saturday the Panthers outshot Western Connecticut State (17-2-2) by 19-9, but needed Victoria Charman’s goal with 7:06 left in regulation to earn a 1-0 win.
Middlebury’s first chance of the opening half came at 27:03, when Western Connecticut keeper Jillian Fernandez dove to snare an Alissa Huntington header on a Barber free kick. Both teams later hit the crossbar in the half, Van Voorhis and Charman for Middlebury and Ashley Cross for Western Connecticut in the final minute.
The game-winning goal came after two quick 30-yard passed. Clare Robinson sent the ball across the field to Alex Barber on the left, who played the ball on a one touch directly to Charman cutting into the box on the right side. Charman took one touch and fired the ball into the upper left side of the net for her team-leading sixth of the season. The assist was Barber’s sixth, also a team high.
Over the final 45 minutes, Middlebury held Western Connecticut to just three shots on net. Western Connecticut made one final push at an equalizer, but Autumn Sorice’s shot with 4:23 to play rattled off the crossbar.
Alwang recorded five stops to earn her sixth shutout of the season, while Fernandez had eight saves in goal for the Colonials.
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