Field Hockey: Middlebury Advances to Regional Final, Tops F & M 2-0

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

GENEVA, New York – The Middlebury field hockey team scored one goal in each half, posting a 2-0 victory over fifth-ranked Franklin & Marshall on Saturday in an NCAA regional semifinal on McCooey Field at William Smith. The third-ranked Panthers (17-2) advance to Sunday’s NCAA regional final at 1:00 p.m. and will meet sixth-ranked William Smith (18-2), a 6-0 winner over Bridgewater (Va.). With the victory, the Panthers will play in the NCAA Quarterfinals for the sixth-straight season and improve to 29-15 overall in NCAA Tournament play.

Middlebury looked to get on the scoreboard in the sixth minute on a shot from the right by Jillian Green, but a defensive save by Franklin & Marshall’s Sarah Schannauer denied the opportunity. The Panthers continued the pressure and broke through at the 11:46 mark. Bridget Instrum collected a loose ball on the right just inside the circle, dribbling toward the center of the field. She directed a low, hard shot toward the cage that was redirected in front by Annie Leonard for her 21st goal of the season.

In the 24th minute, Franklin & Marshall nearly tied the game on its lone shot of the opening half when Maria Guarisco rifled a shot from 10 feet out, but Middlebury goalie Emily Miller kicked away the attempt with her left pad. The Panthers kept up the pressure, but took just a 1-0 lead into the halftime break.

Out of the intermission, Middlebury grabbed a 2-0 advantage at 38:56 when Grace Jennings worked her way from the left side of the field, sending a shot that went into the back of the cage off a Diplomat defender.

The Diplomats’ best scoring chance of the second half came in the 55th minute when Mary Kate Olson ripped a shot from the right that went wide. Franklin & Marshall pulled its goalie in favor of an additional attacker with 6:19 left in regulation, but the Diplomats were unable to score.

Middlebury held a 7-3 shots advantage for the game as well as a 7-3 edge in penalty corners. Miller (16-2) made two saves in goal for the Panthers for her sixth shutout this season, while Ilianna Santangelo was credited with three stops for the Diplomats.

Box Score:

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