September 26, 2011

            Junior Rachel Madding (Hillsborough, Calif.) finished off a scrum in front of the Bowdoin net 6:34 into overtime to give the visiting Middlebury women's soccer team a 3-2 victory on Saturday. The Panthers move to 3-1-1 (2-1-1 NESCAC) the victory.

            The goal spoiled a late rally by the Polar Bears (2-2-1, 0-2-1 NESCAC), who fought back with two goals in the final 13:29 to force overtime.

            Middlebury garnered most of the first half chances and sandwiched goals around halftime to build a two-score cushion. Sophomore Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) took a through-ball from sophomore Julia Favorito (Winchester, Mass.) and slipped the ball between several Bowdoin defenders at 38:40. Junior Amy Schlueter (San Francisco, Calif.) increased the Panthers lead to two goals at 52:44, taking control of a loose ball behind the Bowdoin defense and firing it into the cage.

            Bowdoin’s rally began with a nice cross from Casey Blossom to Amanda Kinneston, who headed home the Polar Bears' first score at 76:31. Then, with less than two minutes remaining, a long cross into the Middlebury defensive zone saw a Bowdoin player taken down in the box. Ellery Gould converted her 37th career goal - one shy of the Bowdoin program record - on the penalty kick that followed to tie the game and force overtime.

            In the extra session, Bowdoin goaltender Louise Johnson made a nice save on Madding's first bid to end the game, tipping a shot high off the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, the ball came loose in front of the Bowdoin net and bounced around several feet and off of Madding before Johnson snagged it, just over the goal line, to give Middlebury the win.

            Johnson stopped nine shots in the loss for Bowdoin while junior Jocelyn Remmert (Pelham, N.Y.) made four saves in net for Middlebury. 

            On Thursday, Kirk scored a pair of first half goals to lead the Panthers to a 2-0 non-league win over Plattsburgh on Dragone Field.

            Kirk struck just 7:25 into the game, giving the Panthers a 1-0 early advantage. She broke in on the left side in open space, before firing a shot to the far post from a tough angle. She netted her fifth of the season in the 37th minute, converting a feed from Schlueter, her first assist of the year. Schlueter played a nice ball over the Cardinal defense to Kirk, who calmly took a quick step before finding the back of the net from 15 yards out.

            The Panthers had several chances to add to their lead in the second half, but could not get one past Danielle Schmitt (3 saves), who came on in relief of Monica D’Ippolito (1 save) at halftime.

            Kirk made a nice drop pass to Favorito in the 50th minute, but Schmitt came up with the save. Plattsburgh’s best chance to score came with 23 minutes left to play, as Remmert (6 saves) made a nice save on Ashley McKenelley as she was scrambling to get back into position.

            Kirk had a couple of chances for her second hat-trick of the season later in the second half. A good look came in the 69th minute, but the shot sailed right of the post. Kirk made a nice crossing pass to Madding 11 minutes later, but her shot from the left side went wide. Kirk had one more bid with five minutes remaining, but her header off a nice feed from junior Hannah Newman (Merion Station, Pa.) just missed the post.
• Women’s soccer record: 3-1-1     
• Up next: 9/27 @ Keene St. – 6:30, 10/1 vs. Wesleyan – 11:00, 10/2 vs. Conn. - 1