Middlebury Field Hockey and Soccer All Advance in NCAA Play

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

Field Hockey
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury advanced to the third round of the NCAA Tournament with a 2-1 win over Babson (19-5). The second-ranked Panthers (18-1) will take on Kean, a 3-1 winner over Endicott, at 1:00 p.m on Sunday in a regional final. The win the was 400th of her career for Middlebury head coach Katharine DeLorenzo (400-126-2).

Babson jumped out early, taking a 1-0 lead just 6:56 into the game. Maddy Paro intercepted a pass in front of the Panther goal and deposited a shot into the right side for her seventh of the year. That proved to be the only shot of the first quarter.

Middlebury tied the game with 5:25 remaining in the second quarter when Erin Nicholas scored her 11th of the season. After a penalty corner, Nicholas created some space by cutting to the right, before scoring with a high shot to the far side.

The Panthers earned the eventual game winner with just eight seconds remaining before halftime. Marissa Baker centered a pass near the goal line on the right side, before Julia Richards knocked it into the back of the cage.

Middlebury had a chance to increase its lead with 7:00 minutes remaining, but a penalty stroke by Nicholas hit the left post.

The Panthers finished the game with an 8-1 shots advantage and a 3-1 edge in penalty corners. Grace Harlan picked up the win in goal for Middlebury, while Cassidy Riley made a pair of saves for the Beavers.

The win extends Middlebury’s home winning streak to 35 games and NCAA Tournament winning streak to nine contests.

Women’s Soccer
MIDDLEBURY — Middlebury (14-2-3) got past a pesky University of New England defense and frigid temperatures, as the Panthers posted a 2-0 victory in in the opening round of the NCAA Tournament Saturday on South Street Field. Middlebury will play Stevens, a 3-0 winner over UMass Boston, on Sunday in the regional final at 1:00 p.m. The Nor’easters finish their season at 13-6-2.

The game was tilted towards the UNE end of the field for the early stages of the opening half, with the hosts getting a good scoring chance in the first five minutes. Anna Glovin and Sabrina Glaser worked a give-and-go on the left flank, with Glovin directing a shot just wide of the post. The Nor’easters had an opportunity with eight minutes showing on the clock, as Caroline Meuse had a free kick from 35 yards, but UNE went offsides on her service, negating the bid.

The hosts broke the scoreless tie with 18 seconds remaining in the half, as Olivia Miller served a cross from the right side that Ellie Bavier bodied in for her third score of the season.

In the second stanza, Middlebury’s Simone Ameer came close to adding to the lead on two occasions. With 3:30 expired, she fired a rising shot that keeper Jenna Pannone leapt up and punched into the cross bar. Ameer came close again seven minutes later, gathering a loose ball in the UNE penalty area, hitting the left post with a low attempt.

The Nor’easter had another direct kick outside of the Panther area, but Jessie Maywalt’s bid was knocked down by the wall just past the midway mark of the frame. Middlebury increased its advantage to 2-0, when Eliza Robinson directed a low shot from the right side inside the left post with 14:37 remaining.

Panther goalie Ursula Alwang did not face a shot in recording her sixth shutout of the season, as the hosts held a 31-0 advantage in shots. Pannone finished with eight saves for the Nor’easters.

With the victory, Middlebury extended its home unbeaten streak to 23 contests (18-0-5) dating back to the 2017 season.

Men’s Soccer
TROY, NY — The Middlebury men’s soccer team advanced to the second round of the NCAA Tournament after a 2-0 win over Johnson & Wales (17-3-2) in a match played at Rensselaer. The Panthers (9-3-7) will take on the hosts, 4-0 winners over Eastern Nazarene, on Sunday at 3:00 p.m. in the regional final. The loss snapped a 17-game unbeaten streak for the Wildcats.

Drew Goulart got things going for Middlebury at the 15:30 mark with his team-leading fifth goal of the season. Jack Spiridellis crossed a ball from 25 yards out on the right side, before Goulart cut hard to the goal and scored with a header.

Goulart nearly put his team up 2-0 with 6:46 left in the half, but his good look from the left side just missed the far post.

Less than a minute later, the Panthers were able to double the lead when Henry Wilhelm scored netted his fourth of the year.

Shams Mohajerani played the ball to Wilhelm, who headed it down to himself before scoring with a hard shot to the left side from 16 yards out at 39:02.

Neither team had a great scoring chance in the second half, as Middlebury came away with the 2-0 victory.

Shots were tied at 10-10 in the game, as Ryan Grady made two saves in goal to earn his eighth shutout of the season. Austin Scoggin made three stops for the Wildcats. The shutout was the 11th of the year for Middlebury