Middlebury

FIELD HOCKEY ENDS PERFECT SEASON IN NCAA REGIONAL FINAL

November 12, 2012

Paige Henry scored 5:40 into the overtime to give DePauw a 2-1 victory over top-ranked Middlebury in Saturday's NCAA Division III quarterfinal on Kohn Field.  The Tigers (21-1) handed the Panthers (18-1) their first loss of the season and will face Tufts in the NCAA semifinal on Saturday at William Smith College.

After being unable to convert on three penalty corners in the overtime, Henry streaked down the sideline, cut inside on a defender and blasted a shot from the top of the circle past senior keeper Madeline Brooks (Clayton, Mo.) to give DePauw the victory.

In the first half, Tiger goalie Maggie Steele came up with some big saves as she was able to keep DePauw in the game. She made a save on a deflection from first-year player Anna Kenyon (Dedham, Mass.) early and late in the opening half made a diving stop on the far post on sophomore Catherine Fowler (Grosse Pointe, Mich.).

Senior Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) tallied the lone goal of the first half, her 38th of the season. On a penalty corner, sophomore Alyssa DiMaio (Morristown, N.J.) inserted the ball to junior Elinore O’Brien (New Canaan, Conn.) who made a stick stop for Greer as she hammered a shot home from the top at 24:32. The Panthers dominated the first half, holding an 11-0 advantage in penalty corners and outshooting the Tigers 13-0, but were only able to take a 1-0 lead into the break.

The second half was a much different game with DePauw putting some pressure on the Panther defense. The Tigers were able to get their first shot off, a strong backhand from Margaret Ellis, but Brooks swatted it away to maintain the 1-0 lead.

DePauw finally broke through at 57:24 when Bridgette Shamleffer sent a ball into the circle that deflected off a defender's stick right to Maggie Campbell on the far post. Campbell put the shot home, earning her fifth of the year to tie it up at 1-1.

The Panthers tried to answer back, but Steele came up with five stops in the final 12:01, including back-to-back saves on Fowler in front of the cage, to force the game to overtime. 

In the extra period, the Tigers were in control, earning three penalty corners and getting off a pair of shots before Henry netted the game-winner, sending DePauw to their first NCAA semifinal.

Steele finished with 13 saves for the Tigers, while Brooks made two stops for Middlebury.

In the first round, the Panthers received a combined five goals and three assists from Greer and Fowler in the 6-2 win over Skidmore. Greer broke her own Middlebury single-season records for goals (37) and points (88) in a season.

Skidmore put the pressure on the Panthers early, earning three penalty corners but were unable to convert. Greer got the scoring started when she and Fowler worked a give-and-go on a penalty corner before she blasted home a shot to make it 1-0.

Fowler made it 2-0 after she collected her own rebound off a shot from the wing and found the back of the cage.

The Thoroughbreds responded just a few minutes later when Ceilidh MacNeill streaked down the sideline and sent a pass in to Dani DeGregory, who found Kelly Blackhurst in the middle of the circle to cut the deficit to 2-1.

Fowler pushed the lead back to two goals at 24:12 when she corralled a rebound from Greer's shot from the wing and put it home for her second of the game. Greer made it 4-1 at 31:56 with a goal on another penalty corner. DiMaio inserted a pass to Fowler who went to her right and flicked a pass behind her back to Greer for her second of the game, giving Middlebury a 4-1 lead at the intermission.

At 46:17, Skidmore cut the lead down to two goals on a goal from DeGregory. Sam Skott inserted a pass to DeGregory on the wing and she blasted a shot to the far post past Brooks.

Middlebury put the game away with a pair of goals in a 1:48 span late. Kenyon redirected a shot from Greer to make it 5-1 and Greer capped off the scoring with a loft from the top of the circle off a penalty corner. DiMaio and O'Brien were credited with the assists.

Brooks finished with three saves in net, while junior Meredith Rowe (Kenilworth, Ill.) had two defensive saves and sophomore Cassie Coash (Concord, Mass.) added another defensive stop. McDougall made nine saves in goal for the Thoroughbreds.

The Panthers outshot Skidmore 20-13 and held an 8-6 advantage in penalty corners.

• Field Hockey final record: 18-1