November 16, 2009

The Middlebury field hockey team saw its season come to an end with a 2-1 loss to Trinity in an NCAA Regional at Ursinus. The Bantams held a 2-0 lead and then held off a late Middlebury flurry to pick up the win.

Trinity took a 1-0 lead 2:58 into the game when Robyn Williams scored on a corner. Sixteen minutes later, Williams took a hard shot on goal that Payson Sword managed to redirect for the eventual game-winner.

Middlebury kept within striking distance after Trinity's Carrie Wolcott ripped a shot that clanked off the left post with 10 minutes left in the first half, keeping the Bantam lead at 2-0. Middlebury had opportunities at the end of the half on back-to back penalty corners as Panther senior Mullery Doar (Winnetka, Ill.) and junior Chase Delano (Greenwich, Conn.) made a bid at putting the Panthers on the scoreboard, but Bantam goalkeeper Gina Dinallo and the Trinity defense managed to keep Middlebury out of the net and preserve the 2-0 lead heading into the half.

Middlebury came out strong in the second half, controlling the majority of the opening 15 minutes, cutting the lead to 2-1 on Delano's 12th goal of the season. The goal developed as Delano deflected a shot from Doar past Dinallo 10 minutes into the final frame.

Trinity's Meghan Ryan made a big defensive play on a breakaway by rookie Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) moments later to preserve the lead for the Bantams. Dinallo continued her solid play in net, making key stops to keep a surging Middlebury offense from tying the game. The Bantams defense managed to kill the remainder of the clock, withstanding a strong Middlebury attack in the final two minutes. The final flurry included a penalty corner with no time on the clock that sailed wide of the net, sending the Bantams into the quarterfinals.

Dinallo finished the game with seven saves, while Middlebury goalkeepers, Madeline Brooks (Clayton, Mo.) and Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.), shared minutes in net for the Panthers. Brooks, the starter, allowed two goals and is credited with the loss, while Shaw made two saves and did not allow a goal.

Earlier in the week, Middlebury picked up a 5-1 NCAA Tournament first-round win over UMass.-Dartmouth on Dragone Field. With the victory, Middlebury improved to 17-9 all-time in NCAA Tournament play, while the Corsairs were making their first NCAA Tournament appearance.

Middlebury wasted little time as leading scorer Greer scored twice in the game's first 16:54 to give the Panthers an early lead. The goals were her team-leading 17th and 18th of the season for the recently named NESCAC Rookie of the Year. Senior Heather McCormack (Rowley, Mass.) assisted on the first goal, before junior Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) made a nice crossing pass to Greer for the redirect on her second tally.

Just 1:44 later, Delano made a pair of nice moves cutting through the goal area, before scoring with a reverse stick move. Delano struck again for her 10th of the season at 21:33, putting home a rebound after a shot from Doar was saved. The Panthers entered the halftime break with a 4-0 lead and a 17-1 advantage in shots.

The second half featured a lot of neutral play, with the shots even at 3-3. Middlebury made it a 5-0 game just 1:40 into the session, as Doar netted her seventh of the year with a high blast into the back of the cage.

Stephanie Kinchla put the Corsairs on the board at 43:08, as she quickly shot an up-pass from Kylie Treat in transition. The goal was her team-leading 21st of the season for Kinchal.

That was the game's final goal as the Panthers came away with the 5-1 win. Brooks made one save in goal to earn the win, while Seana Golden made seven saves for UMass.-Dartmouth.
. Field hockey final record: 12-5