November 2, 2009

The Middlebury College women's soccer team advanced to the NESCAC semifinals with a 1-0 overtime win over Bowdoin on Dragone Field. The Panthers will meet in Amherst in a semifinal match-up on Saturday, November 7th at 1:30 p.m., while host school Williams battles Tufts at 11:00 a.m. The winners meet for the NESCAC Championship on Sunday at noon. Middlebury improves to 11-2-2 on the season, while Bowdoin ends its year at 8-7.

Middlebury controlled the pace throughout much of the contest, holding a 27-8 shots advantage in the game. The Panthers threatened early, as junior Annie Rowell (Craftsbury, Vt.) broke in one-on-one with Bowdoin keeper Kat Flaherty, but saw her shot turned aside. Middlebury continued to pressure but saw no great opportunities until a rocket from senior Margaret Owen (Bozeman, Mont.) sailed just over the crossbar in the 31st minute.

Rowell continued to get looks in the second half, but saw a pair of headers go just over the crossbar. With time winding down, Bowdoin had one last chance on a set play after a restart with less than a minute to go. Dana Riker fed the ball to Christine Aceto, who found Ellery Gould one-on-one with junior keeper Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.). Gould had little time to get off a shot as Torch cut off the angle and made a save on the shot to force the contest into overtime.

Rowell's persistence paid off in overtime, as she netted her team-leading 10th goal of the season on her 10th shot of the afternoon. Following a throw-in, junior Drew Smith (Silver Spring, Md.) served the ball up from the right wing, where Rowell got a head on the ball. Her low hard shot bounced off the ground and hit the crossbar before finding its way into the back of the net at the 96:41 mark.

Torch ended the day with four saves to earn her seventh shutout of the season, while Flaherty made a dozen stops for the visitors.

Middlebury dominated Williams for 90 minutes, but it wasn't enough, as the Ephs scored late to sneak away with a 1-0 victory over the Panthers in the regular season finale on Friday. Williams, ranked second nationally and #1 in New England, improved to 14-0 on the year.

The Panthers controlled play throughout the game, but could not find the back of the net. Middlebury ended the game with a 15-5 shots advantage, as Torch was forced to make just two saves all afternoon.

Middlebury kept the ball in the Williams end for much of the first half, but were unable to generate any great scoring opportunities.

The second half looked much the same, with the Panthers finding themselves with some quality chances to score. Rowell and Smith worked a give-and-go in the 62nd minute, as Smith's shot went just wide of the post. Rowell had another chance just over a minute later, but her header on a Caroline Downer (Stamford, Conn.) cross sailed just over the crossbar. In the 75th minute, Rowell struck a low hard crossing pass that was cut off by Eph keeper Lauren Sinnenberg (7 saves) as senior Lindsay Walker (Ridgewood, N.J.) was charging with a good look at the goal.

The game's lone goal came at 87:41 as Sarah Walmsley netted her fourth of the season. Annelise Snyder chipped a ball up to Walmsley on the right wing, as she sprinted 10 yards to gain some space. Walmsley then ripped a shot into the top left side of the net on the far post to give the Ephs the 1-0 victory.

On Wednesday, Middlebury had little trouble with Johnson & Wales as the Panthers defeated the Wildcats 7-0 in the first meeting between the schools. Middlebury held a 36-0 shots advantage in the game, controlling the play from start to finish.

Owen opened the scoring at 10:50, with a crossing ball that deflected in off a defender. Junior Katie Ruymann (Medford, N.J.) netted her first of the season in the 17th minute, scoring on a blast from 35 yards out. First-year player Rachel Madding (Hillsborough, Calif.) closed the first half scoring on another shot from the outside, this one coming just 1:42 later.

Leading 3-0 at the break, the Panthers added four second half goals en route to the win. Panther rookie Hannah Newman (Merion Station, Pa.) knocked in a feed from Walker at 47:20, before senior Anjuli Demers (Dracut, Mass.) netted the first of her career at the 72:23 mark. Senior Paola Cabonargi (Staten Island, N.Y.) netted the game's final two goals, with junior Kristen Lundquist (Boxford, Mass.) and Rowell earning assists.

Torch and rookie Jocelyn Remmert (Pelham, N.Y.) combined on the shutout for Middlebury, while Jennifer Hurley made 11 stops for J&W.
. Women's soccer record: 11-2-2
. Up next: 11/7 vs. Amherst @ Williams - 1:30, 11/8 - Championship - 12:00