November 14, 2011

The Middlebury College women’s soccer team advanced to the NCAA Sectionals after topping The College of New Jersey 1-0 in a regional final played on Dragone Field. The Panthers earned their eighth straight shutout, extending their streak to 879:39 without allowing a goal. Middlebury (13-3-2) will take on William Smith in the round of 16, with the dates and times to be announced on Monday/Tuesday. The Lions end their season with a 13-4-2 mark.

            Junior Hannah Newman (Merion Station, Pa.) scored the game’s lone goal, with an assist from classmate Maddy Boston (Mill Valley, Calif.) at the 70:33 mark. Boston was attempting to save a ball from going over the end line, booting it towards the goal from 12 yards out on the right side. Newman was unmarked as she cut to the goal and got a head on the ball, depositing it into the right corner of the net for her second of the season.

            TCNJ’s trapping defense caused the Middlebury offense problems most of the day, with the Lions finishing with an 18-3 advantage in shots. Middlebury’s defense denied most of TCNJ’s quality scoring opportunities, despite the one-sided statistic.

            TCNJ came out with a lot of first half pressure, with the majority of the half being play in Middlebury’s defensive end. The Lions best chance of the half came in the 36th minute after a restart. Jordan Downs’ free kick from 22 yards out was nearly headed on goal by Brittany McGinley, but Panther junior keeper Jocelyn Remmert (Pelham, N.Y.) was able to charge the shot and make the save.

            The Lion defense was solid, denying most Middlebury chances including a nice up pass from junior Amy Schlueter (San Francisco, Calif.) to sophomore Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.), that was cut off by Nikki Migliori in the 38th minute.

            Middlebury had a nice opportunity 13 minutes into the second half with a free kick from 20 yards away. The Panthers miscommunicated on the play and a shot was never put on goal.

            TCNJ turned up the pressure, but a free kick and a corner kick by Migliori were both cleared by the Panther defense.

            Following the Panther goal in the 70th minute, a free kick by Migliori sailed high from 22 yards out in the 76th minute. Middlebury was close on a corner kick two minutes later, with Newman’s bid for a second header goal going over the crossbar.

            TCNJ’s best chance to score came with five minutes remaining as Katie Lindacher made a quick left crossing pass to McGinely, who was unable to get a good foot on the ball as a weak shot went wide left. The Lions followed with a corner kick shortly thereafter, but were unable to tie the game as the Panthers held on for the win.

            Remmert made six first half saves for the Panthers, while sophomore keeper Elizabeth Foody (Ottawa, Ont.) picked up the win with a pair of stops in the second half . Christina Gacos was forced to make no saves for the Lions.

In their first game on Saturday, the Panthers topped Lasell 2-0. Lasell had a great chance in the 12th minute with a feed from Meredith Hessler to Jessica Taylor. Remmert came out to challenge Taylor, with her shot at on open goal sailing just wide right. Middlebury answered with a look in the 17th minute, with Schlueter crossing to junior Rachel Madding (Hillsborough, Calif.) as her shot went wide.

            Middlebury took a 1-0 lead at 29:40, with sophomore Julia Favorito (Winchester, Mass.) scoring her second goal of the season. Lasell keeper Elizabeth Stickley broke up a crossing pass, with her defense attempting to clear the ball. Favorito intercepted a clearing pass and launched a shot into the goal from the top, 20 yards out.

            Lasell nearly tied the game with seconds remaining in the first half, but Remmert denied Jamie Harris on a breakaway. The first half ended with the Lasers holding an 8-4 shots advantage, trailing 1-0.

            Middlebury came on strong in the second half, taking a 2-0 lead at the 59:12 mark on a penalty kick. Kirk centered a pass from the left wing to Madding, who was tripped in the penalty area, with the free kick being awarded to the Panthers. Kirk blasted a shot into the bottom right corner of the net for her team-leading 14th of the season.

            The Panthers threatened again less than a minute later on a corner kick, with Kirk’s header being knocked down by Stickley, before Boston just missed wide on the rebound.

            Middlebury kept coming with pressure, but could not add to their lead as they emerged with the 2-0 victory. The Panthers outshot their opponents 8-2 in the second half, 12-10 in the game. Remmert made four saves in the first half, while Foody played the second half without a save. Stickley finished the contest with five stops for Lasell.

            Middlebury last allowed a goal in a 1-0 loss at Hamilton on October 8th.
• Women’s soccer record: 11-3-2   
• Up next: 11/19 @ Williams Smith – TBA (NCAA Sectional), 11/20 – Sectional Final – TBA