Middlebury women’s soccer wins semifinal
MIDDLEBURY — The second-seeded Middlebury College women’s soccer team edged visiting No. 7 Wesleyan, 2-1, in a Saturday NESCAC quarterfinal. The Panthers advanced to this weekend’s final four, to be hosted by top-seeded Tufts.
The 12-1-3 Panthers will take on No. 3 seed Williams in a 1:30 p.m. Saturday semifinal. That game will be in a rematch of the 2018 NESCAC championship game, won by Middlebury; the 2018 NCAA Division III final, won by Williams; and the Oct. 29 meeting in Middlebury between the two teams that finished in a scoreless tie.
No. 1 Tufts will host No. 4 Amherst in the other semifinal at 11 a.m. on Saturday. The winners will play at noon on Sunday. Most, if not all, of the teams are expected to earn NCAA berths when the field is announced on Monday. Middlebury won at Tufts on Oct. 26, but lost at Amherst on Oct. 20.
On this past Saturday vs. Wesleyan (9-5-2) Ellie Bavier netted the game-winning goal with 13:23 remaining. Bavier one-touched home a cross from Olivia Miller.
The Panthers took the lead 4:07 into the game, when Simone Ameer volleyed home a loose ball in a scramble that followed a 40-yard Eliza Robinson free kick. It was Ameer’s team-best ninth goal of the season.
Wesleyan’s best chance of the half came in the 19th minute, when Panther keeper Ursula Alwang corralled a bouncing shot by Remi Feuerman from 30 yards out.
Middlebury nearly made it 2-0 in the final seconds of the half. Gretchen McGrath’s cross from the left grazed off the crossbar and came down. Ellie Greenberg found the loose ball, but Cardinal goalie Sarah Hammond stopped her bid on the goal line.
After the halftime break Wesleyan made it 1-1 with 28:49 left in regulation on 30-yard blast from Dani Milovanov that sailed just over the hand of Panther goalie Eva Shaw, who entered in the first half. Six minutes later Shaw denied a Gianna Argento header to preserve the tie, and Shaw also stopped a last-minute Grace Devanny bid.
Shaw made three saves for the Panthers in the final 59:23, while Alwang had a pair of stops in 30:37. Hammond made two saves for Wesleyan. The Panthers improved to 17-0-5 in their last 22 home matches.
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