October 3, 2011

            The Panther field hockey team had a big week with three wins at home, two of them coming in NESCAC play. On Tuesday, Middlebury handed Skidmore (8-1) its first loss of the season as the 12th-ranked Panthers (3-2) topped the third-ranked Thoroughbreds 3-1 on Kohn Field. The game was the first played under the lights on the newly renovated surface.

            Skidmore had a pair of penalty corners in the first 20 minutes, but could not capitalize. The Panthers struck 23:44 into the game, with senior Hannah Clarke (Falmouth, Maine) netting her first of the season. Junior Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) carried the ball 50 yards down the field in transition, drawing two defenders as she neared the goal. Greer quickly slid a pass to her left to Clarke, who ripped a shot past Haley McDougall and into the back of the cage. Greer had another hard shot on a penalty corner late in the half, but McDougall made the stop.

            Just 2:30 into the second half, the Panthers had another great opportunity as Greer found Clarke in a situation similar to the first half goal. This time, McDougall made the save, getting help from her teammate Jackie Slocombe, who made a defensive save on Clarke’s follow-up attempt.

            Middlebury made it a 2-0 game when junior Charlotte Gardiner (Larchmont, N.Y.) earned her third of the year at the 39:33 mark. Greer sent a shot in that tipped a defender’s stick, before finding its way to Gardiner for the finish.

            McDougall denied Greer’s attempt for a second goal in the 49th minute, coming out to make a save as she stacked her pads. The Skidmore keeper again received some defensive help at 51:30, when Ellen Kolman earned a defensive save on a shot from rookie Catherine Fowler (Grosse Pt., Mich.).

            Skidmore got on the board at the 55:26 mark with Caylyn Sullivan’s first of the year. Slocombe sent a pass into the circle, that Sullivan finished with a sweeping motion to make it a 2-1 game. The Thoroughbreds rode momentum for the next 10 minutes, but could not tie the game despite a pair of penalty corners.

            Middlebury sealed the game with 2:43 remaining when Greer connected on a reverse stick shot high into the cage after taking a feed from first-year player Alyssa DiMaio (Morristown, N.J.).

            Middlebury held a 17-7 shots advantage in the game, while Skidmore held a 6-4 edge in penalty corners. Senior Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) finished the contest with four saves to earn the win, while McDougall made 10 stops for Skidmore.

            Middlebury scored four second half goals on its way to a 6-1 win over Wesleyan (3-4, 1-4) in NESCAC action on Saturday.

            Greer earned a hat-trick in the game, opening the scoring with a penalty stroke to the top right corner at the 3:52 mark. Gardiner took a feed from Greer at the 22:35, scoring her fourth of the year from the right side of the goal.

            Wesleyan got on the board at the 26:49 mark, when Taylor Wells made a pass from the stroke line, finding Morgan McCauley down low for the finish.

            Leading 3-1 in the second half, Fowler scored the first of her career with a rocket from the top left side, with the shot tipping off a defender’s stick and high into the cage. Senior Heather Karpas (Greenwood Village, Colo.) netted her first of the season at the 58:23 mark, taking a crossing pass from Greer and scoring with a shot to the bottom left side of the cage.

            Gardiner quickly found Greer on a penalty corner for her second of the game at the 64:22 mark, giving Middlebury a 5-1 advantage. Greer scored her sixth goal in the last three games with just 11 seconds remaining, blasting home a corner after a feed from junior Clara St. Germain (Ashburnham, Mass.).

            Middlebury held a 27-4 shots advantage in the game, earning 12 penalty corners to Wesleyan’s five. Shaw made three saves in goal to earn the win, while Tori Redding made 14 saves for the Cardinals.

Middlebury outshot Connecticut College 32-8 on its way to a 3-1 win over the Camels (4-4, 1-4) on Sunday.

            The only goal of the first half came from Clarke, as she scored her second of the year at the 26:08 mark. Greer had the ball down low, lifting a pass over the stacked goalie pads of Becca Napolitano to Clarke, who finished for the 1-0 lead.

            The Panthers made it a 2-0 game 7:08 into the second half with a goal on a penalty corner. Senior Lucy Jackson (Bronxville, N.J.) inserted the ball to Greer, who ripped home a shot into the bottom right corner.

            Middlebury had a nice chance later in the half when a ball sent in by Jackson just missed getting tipped into the cage. The Camels had an opportunity of their own when Kat Barker made a nice feed to KK Logan, but Shaw made the save.

            Connecticut College got right back in the game at the 57:04 mark, tying the game with a goal following a penalty corner. After Shaw had made one save, Laura Sanderson gathered the rebound and lifted a shot over her stacked pads to make it a 2-1 contest.

            The Camels kept up the pressure, but Middlebury was able to seal the game with 30 seconds remaining with an insurance goal. Clarke made a nice feed from down low on the left side to Greer, who redirected the pass into the net for her 11th of the season.

            Shaw finished the game with five saves to earn the win, while Napolitano made 19 stops for the Camels.
• Field hockey record: 5-2                            
• Up next: 10/4 @ Castleton, 10/8 @ Hamilton, 10/9 vs. Babson – 1:00