October 3, 2011

            The Middlebury College women’s soccer team won three games last week, including a pair of NESCAC games at home over the weekend. On Tuesday night, the Panthers picked up a 5-1 non-league road win at Keene State 5-1. The win snaps a four-game shutout and winning streak for Keene State.  The Panthers came into the game tied for fifth in the most recent NSCAA regional rankings.

The loss drops Keene State’s record to 6-4.  It was the third straight win for Middlebury (4-1-1), who were led by sophomore Scarlett Kirk’s (San Francisco, Calif.) two goals.

Keene State goalie Megan Dempsey kept the Owls in the game with several spectacular saves in the early going.  Just over a minute into the game, she got her fingertips on a drive by junior Maddy Boston (Mill Valley, Calif.) that was ticketed for the top corner of the goal and later came out of her net to stop a point-blank shot by Kirk after an errant clear.

Dempsey, who hadn’t given up a goal in 362 minutes and 52 seconds, was finally beaten at the 35:25 mark of the half on a goal by Kirk getting free for a shot with an Owl defender right beside her. Two minutes later, junior Hannah Newman (Merion Station, Pa.) gave Middlebury a 2-0 halftime lead when her a long floating shot from 40-yards out went just over the outstretched hand of Dempsey and under the cross bar.

The Panthers scored three more times in the second half before the Owls got on the board in the closing minutes. Kirk and rookie Carter Talgo (Rye, N.Y.) scored almost identical goals on shots from the top of box to make it 4-0. Junior Amy Schlueter (San Francisco, Calif.) completed the scoring for Middlebury with a shot that found the far corner of the net.

Keene State avoided the shutout with less than four minutes to play when junior Brittany Croteau took a pass from senior Sia Karamourtopolous and scored her fourth goal of the season. 

The Panthers outshot the Owls 19-12 and had a wide 8-3 advantage in corner kicks. 

Dempsey finished the game with eight saves, while junior Jocelyn Remmert (Pelham, N.Y.) stopped three shots for the Panthers.

Kirk redirected a crossing pass from sophomore Julia Favorito (Winchester, Mass.) 1:01:03 into the game to lift the Panthers to a 2-1 double overtime victory over Wesleyan (3-4, 1-4) on Dragone Field.

            Wesleyan took a 1-0 lead 11:05 into the game, when Laura Kurash redirected a corner kick feed from Kerry Doyle. Middlebury came back to threaten in the half, with a shot by Kirk sailing over the crossbar in the 30th minute and a header from Schlueter going just wide left 12 minutes later.

            Kirk and Wesleyan keeper Jessica Tollman were in a footrace to the ball early in the second half, but Tollman was able to slide and clear the ball away.

            Kirk finally broke through at the 54:31 mark, taking a pass from junior Rachel Madding (Hillsborough, Calif.) and ripping a shot into the bottom right corner as she was falling down.

            Middlebury continued to threaten throughout the rest of regulation, but could not score. A great chance came in the 80th minute with a pass from Favorito to Kirk, but Tollman was able to making a diving save to her left to keep it a 1-1 game.

            Following a scoreless first overtime, Kirk’s game-winner came just 1:03 into the second session. She has now scored seven goals in her last four games, leading the team with 10 overall.

            Remmert finished with three saves to earn the win, while Tollman made seven stops for the Cardinals.

Middlebury won its fifth straight game as the Panthers topped Connecticut College 2-1 on Sunday. The Panthers improve to 6-1-1 overall, 4-1-1 in the league while the Camels fall to 2-4-1, 1-3-1 in NESCAC play.

            Middlebury had a nice chance just minutes into the game, but Newman’s shot in a one-on-one situation went wide. The Panthers struck shortly thereafter when Schlueter beat her defender and then lofted a shot over the goalkeeper’s head from 20 yards out. The goal was the third of the season for Schlueter.

            Just 1:47 into the second half, Middlebury made it a 2-0 game with a goal following a corner kick. The original kick was cleared to rookie Moria Sloan (Bethesda, Md.), who settled and fed a crossing pass to Kirk for the header. Kirk, who sat out the first half, now has eight goals in her last five games, leading the team with 11.

            The Panthers had a few more chances in the second half, with a header by Madding going wide in the 60th minute and Newman’s blast also going wide in the 80th minute.

            Connecticut College got back in the game at 81:31, cutting the lead in half. Kate Driscoll fed a ball to Celia Alvarez who scored with a blast to the right side of the net from 18 yards out. The Camels kept up the pressure for the remainder of the game but were unable to earn the equalizer.

            Remmert finished the contest with three saves to earn the win, while Natalie Signore earned eight stops for Connecticut College. Middlebury outshot their opponent 25-3 in the contest.
• Women’s soccer record: 6-1-1     
• Up next: 10/4 vs. Rensselaer – 4:00, 10/8 @ Hamilton