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Panther women’s soccer opens with trio of wins

NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Middlebury College women’s soccer team on Saturday scored twice in the final 13 minutes to win the Panthers’ NESCAC opener, 2-0, at Connecticut College.
The Panthers, ranked No. 18 in the NCAA Division III preseason poll, also won two recent non-league games to open 3-0. They were set to host Plattsburgh on Wednesday. Amherst will visit the Panthers on Saturday at noon.
This past Saturday, Panther goalie Ursula Alwang made 11 saves, including punching a first-half bid off the crossbar and diving to deny a second-half shot as the 1-1 Camels pressed to take the lead.
The Panthers began to control play and broke through on an Olivia Miller goal with 12:40 to play. Eliza Van Voorhis controlled in the left corner and slid the ball back to Gretchen McGrath, who served to the goalmouth. Miller cut in from the right side and used her left foot to volley the ball high into the net from close range.
With 3:23 to go McGrath got the pad goal. Miller got around the defense to the right end line and served a low ball to the far side, and McGrath one-timed it back into the right side of the net. Two Camel goalies combined for 11 stops.
On Sunday the Panthers blanked host Roger Williams, 3-0, taking an early 2-0 lead. With about 10 minutes gone Virginia Charman ripped a shot home from the top of the penalty box after taking a feed from Leah Salzman. In the 17th minute Salzman tapped home a cross from Abigail Blyler. In the 73rd minute Eliza Robinson chipped home a long shot.
The only shot Roger Williams (1-4) launched came in the first half and hit the crossbar. Two Roger Williams goalies combined for seven saves as the Panthers earned a 21-1 edge in shots at goal.
 In the Panthers’ opener back on Sept. 5 they scored four goals in the second half to dispatch overmatched visiting Gordon, 5-1, in a game that Middlebury outshot their opponents by 35-3.
Sabrina Glaser knocked a shot home from the top of the box to give the Panthers the lead in the third minute, but Gordon cashed in on its only good look of the game in the 16th minute. Kyra Skurcenski broke up a Panther clear on the right flank and fed Lexi Potter, who hit a long, rising shot that went over Alwang and just under the crossbar and Alwang. 
The Panthers controlled the rest of the half, but did not finish effectively, although a Van Voorhis header went just high.
The offense was more efficient in the second half. Five minutes in Sara DiCenso redirected a Simone Ameer shot to make it 2-1. An Ameer penalty kick made it in the 14th minute of the half, and Miller set up the final two goals, one a tap-in by Ellie Greenberg on a pass in the box and one a Salzman header on a cross from the right side.

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