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Panther women’s soccer outlasts Bowdoin, weather

MIDDLEBURY — The No. 2 Middlebury College women’s soccer team won a battle with visiting No. 7 Bowdoin and with the elements on Saturday, 1-0, in a NESCAC quarterfinal.
The Panthers improved to 14-1-1 and will head to undefeated and top-seeded defending NESCAC and NCAA Division III champion Williams this weekend for the league’s final four.
Middlebury will take on No. 3 Amherst (13-2-1) in one semifinal at 1:30 p.m. on Saturday, after the Ephs (14-0-2) face No. 4 Tufts (10-4-2) at 11 a.m. The winners will meet at Sunday at noon for the league’s playoff championship and its automatic bid to the NCAA tournament.
The Panthers defeated Amherst and Tufts this season, but lost at Williams, 1-0, on Oct. 23. They remain the only team to defeat the Ephs over the past two seasons, and regardless of results this season should earn at at-large bid to the NCAA tournament. Pairings will be announced on Monday.
Against Bowdoin (7-7-2) the only goal came on a possibly wind-aided Eliza Robinson corner kick 18:45 gone. Robinson’s strike hooked on goal, hit off Polar Bear keeper Penny Rocchio (four saves) and went in just under the crossbar.
Bowdoin pressed at the start of the second half, and Panther goalie Eva Shaw (10 saves) stopped a header by Julia Patterson and a minute later a shot sailed high.
After weather forced the teams to sit through a two-hour delay Bowdoin continued to carry play. The Polar Bears outshot the Panthers, 19-10, and recorded the game’s last four shots on goal. Shaw smothered Tess Huckaby’s shot from the right side in the final seconds.

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