September 19, 2011

            Juniors Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) and Charlotte Gardiner (Larchmont, N.Y.) scored two goals apiece as seventh-ranked Middlebury moved to 2-0 overall with a 5-1 win over Colby (0-2) in their home-opener on Kohn Field.

            Gardiner opened the scoring 14:23 into the game with an unassisted tally. Greer scored the game’s next two goals over a 6:26 span to make it a 3-0 game. Her first goal came from the penalty stroke mark, after taking a feed from senior Heather Karpas (Greenwood Village, Colo.). The next tally was a perfectly executed penalty corner, with senior Lucy Jackson (Bronxville, N.Y.) inserting, junior Margaret Souther (Scarsdale, N.Y.) setting, and Greer blasting the shot into the back of the cage.

            Leading 3-0 in the second half, sophomore Elinore O’Brien (New Canaan, Conn.) scored on a penalty corner at the 47:56 mark, with the assist going to Greer. Colby got on the board at 50:51, when Hannah O’Brien tipped in a shot from Kelly Roth on a penalty corner. Gardiner added her second of the game at 57:16 to make it a 5-1 final.

            Senior Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) made six saves in goal to earn the win for the Panthers, while Michelle Burt made seven stops for the Mules.

Middlebury dropped its first game of the season as they fell 3-1 at Amherst on Sunday afternoon. Katie McMahon netted a pair of second-half goals to propel the Jeffs to the win over the seventh-ranked Panthers on Gooding Field.

Having earned just their third victory over the Panthers in the last decade, Amherst improved to 3-0 in 2011 with a pair of wins over ranked opponents, while the Panthers fell to 2-1 on the season.

Looking to set the tone early, Amherst outshot Middlebury 4-1 over the game’s first nine minutes. McMahon nearly put the Lord Jeffs on the board at 8:43, but O’Brien made a defensive save at the goal line to keep things scoreless.

Amherst would break through moments later however, when Alex Philie linked up with Carly Dudzik who fired a shot from the top of the circle following a penalty corner into the left side of the goal.

Dudzik and Madeline Tank almost put Amherst on top by two just shy of the 14th minute, putting consecutive shots on net, but Shaw turned away both tries to keep the Panthers within one.

Hoping to build some momentum, the Panthers went on the offensive, switching fields and registering three quick shots in search of the equalizer. In the 21st minute, rookie Catherine Fowler (Grosse Pt., Mich.) fired a shot that got blocked down near the front of the Amherst goal. With the ball loose, an alert O’Brien turned and got a stick on it, sliding it into the right side of the Lord Jeff goal to knot things up at one heading into the intermission.

Greer registered the game’s first shot coming out of the break, finding some space following a penalty corner, but Amherst’s Rachel Tannenbaum came up big, kicking away the attempt.

The Lord Jeffs responded by regaining possession and pushing the tempo, winning six penalty corners over the next 15 minutes of action, with Dudizk registering three shots on goal over that span.

Coming out of another penalty corner just short of the 61st minute, Philie got a shot blocked in front of the Middlebury goal. Krista Zsitvay tracked down the loose ball, finding an open McMahon who put away Amherst’s go-ahead score. Just 3:32 later, McMahon again found herself in the right place at the right time, getting a stick on a loose ball in front of the Panthers’ net before tucking in the game’s third tally.

Amherst, which held a 21-8 advantage in penalty corners and a 22-10 edge in shots, did not allow a Middlebury shot over the final 27:59 en route to the victory. Shaw finished with nine saves, while Tannenbaum made five stops to earn her third collegiate victory.
• Field hockey record: 2-1                            
• Up next: 9/24 @ Bowdoin