November 3, 2008

The Panther women's soccer team earned its third shutout in its last four games as the Panthers topped Trinity 2-0 in a NESCAC Quarterfinal contest on Dragone Field. Middlebury advances to the NESCAC semifinals at Williams next Saturday, where they will take on Amherst at 1:30. The host school meets Bowdoin in the other semifinal at 11:00 a.m. The winners meet for the NESCAC Championship at noon on Sunday. Middlebury moves to 8-5-2 on the year, while Trinity ends its season with a 9-6 mark.

There was no first half scoring, but both teams had several great chances to get on the board. Trinity's Leigh Howard and Delia DeBlois had some good looks in the ninth minute, but Middlebury keeper Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.) was able to make a save before the ball was cleared away.

Middlebury senior Caitlin Parker (Seattle, Wash.) broke in all alone shortly after that, but her shot was cleared from the Bantam goal by defender Devin Nwanagu. Shortly after that, Trinity keeper Emily Weedon made a nice save on a shot ear-marked for the top right corner of the net by Drew Smith in the 38th minute. The half was winding down as Howard of Trinity blasted a shot from point-blank range that was saved by Middlebury junior defender Jenny Galgano (Wyckoff, N.J.).

The Panthers were able to break through 13 minutes into the second half, as junior Margaret Owen (Bozeman, Mont.) tallied her fourth goal of the season. Senior Linsday Rotherham (Bozeman, Mont.) crossed the ball to Owen, who saw her shot stuffed by Weedon, but the momentum carried the ball across the goal line.

Parker made it a 2-0 game at the 77:32 mark, as she took a feed from junior Valerie Christy (LaJolla, Calif.) and beat Weedon one-on-one.

Trinity would threaten late, but the Middlebury defense held, emerging with their sixth shutout of the season. Torch made a save in goal to get the win, while Weedon made five stops for Trinity.

The Panthers ended its regular season with a 1-0 loss at Williams on Friday. Williams closed out the regular season unbeaten for the second consecutive year, holding the top spot in the latest national poll. The game's lone goal came at 5:13 as Jacqueline Russo fought for a long ball in front of the goal box, and aimed a header to teammate Sara Wild. The Eph sophomore flicked the ball to a charging Wild on her left, who ripped a shot into the back of the net.

The goal at the 5:13 mark would be the only offense of the contest. Although the Ephs rattled off 10 shots in the first half, a 15-4 shooting advantage did not translate to further goals.

Torch recorded eight saves in the game, while Eph keeper Lauren Sinnenberg was forced to make only one.
. Women's soccer record: 8-5-2
. Up next: 11/8 vs. Amherst - NESCAC Semi's-1:30, Bowdoin vs. Williams-11 (at Williams) - 11/9 - NESCAC Championship - 12:00