October 5, 2009

The Middlebury College women's soccer team set a school record for most wins to start a season (7), as the Panthers earned their second NESCAC win of the weekend, topping Wesleyan 1-0 on Dragone Field. The Panthers remain undefeated at 7-0, with a perfect 5-0 mark in NESCAC play.

The game's lone goal came 18:44 into the first half, as senior Margaret Owen (Bozeman, Mont.) notched her third of the season, with junior Katie Ruymann (Medford, N.J.) picking up her second assist of '09. Ruymann served up a crossing pass to Owen, who one-touched a shot into the back of the net.

The Panthers had another chance late in the first half, but rookie Rachel Madding's (Hillsborough, Calif.) shot from the left side was knocked away with a diving save from Kate Connolly-Smithwick. Middlebury entered the halftime break with a 1-0 lead and a 7-0 shot advantage.

The second half saw junior Annie Rowell (Craftsbury, Vt.) with a chance to double the lead, but her rocket from the 18 hit the post and was cleared away. First-year player Hannah Newman (Merion Station, Pa.) just missed the far post in the 70th minute as Middlebury continued to come at the Wesleyan net, but could not earn a second goal.

The Cardinals' best chance to score came in the 83rd minute as Haley Baron crossed a ball to Anna Crystal, who saw her header punched away by Middlebury junior keeper Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.).

Middlebury ended the game with an 18-2 lead in shots, as Torch made a pair of saves in goal to earn her fourth shutout of the season. Connolly-Smithwick made 13 stops between the posts for the Cardinals

The previous day, Middlebury outshot Colby 23-5 on its way to a 3-0 NESCAC win over the Mules.

Rowell gave the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the 16:00 mark, heading in an impressive crossing pass from junior Kirsten Lundquist (Boxford, Mass.) on the far post.

Rowell struck again for her team-leading sixth goal of the season just 5:51 later, giving Middlebury a 2-0 lead. After carrying the ball into the zone from midfield, she blasted a well-placed shot into the top corner of the net.

The Panthers had another chance in the 29th minute, but Madding's blast was denied by a beautiful save by Loni Pisani, as she just deflected the ball over the cross bar.

Leading 2-0 in the second half, the Panthers made it a 3-0 game as Owen netted her second tally of the season. Newman carried the ball down the left wing before sending a crossing pass to Owen, for the quick one-touch.

Colby had a chance to break-up the shutout in the final minutes, but a direct kick from Lexi Bohonnon sailed just over the cross bar.

Torch finished the game with three saves to earn her third shutout of the season, while Pisano made 14 stops on the afternoon for the Mules.

In a mid-week game, the Panthers picked up a 2-0 road at Skidmore. Middlebury got on the board when Madding's header off Lundquist's corner snuck past the goalie and crossed the goal line. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead when Rowell got behind the defenders and beat Thoroughbred keeper Meghan Sleezer for her fourth goal of the season.

Skidmore was never able to get their offense going and was outshot 8-4 by the Panthers. Meghan Sleezer made three saves for the Thoroughbreds, while Torch didn't have to make a stop in her shutout effort for Middlebury.
. Women's soccer record: 7-0
. Up next: 10/10 @ Amherst - 2:00