October 18, 2010

            The Middlebury College field hockey team scored early in each half and limited the Wesleyan attack to just five total shots, en route to an important 3-0 victory.  Middlebury moves into a tie with Trinity for third place, behind Bowdoin (7-0) and Tufts (6-1) while Wesleyan, ranked 18th in the country, falls into a tie for fifth with Amherst (4-3).  

            The Panthers opened the scoring with the only goal they would need at 5:34 on a bit of a fluke.  Sophomore Lauren Greer (N. Hampton, N.H.) sent the ball from far out on the right into the circle toward the Wesleyan net.  Wesleyan sophomore goalie Tori Redding came out to play the ball and missed, allowing the ball to continue goalward where a waiting junior Hannah Clarke (Falmouth, Maine) had little to do but tap the ball into an open net from close range.  It was Clarke's second goal of the season.

            A strong individual move through the middle of the Wesleyan defense from the top of the circle by sophomore Charlotte Gardiner (Larchmont, N.Y.) produced Middlebury's second goal in the 21st minute, also her second of the season.

            The Panthers added to their cushion while securing their 11th consecutive victory over Wesleyan since 2000 and improving to 24-3-1 all-time with a third goal in the 38th minute.  After an initial shot by Greer through a crowd made its way to Redding for a save, the ball stayed near the goal on the left side.  A sprawling Redding tried to clear the ball away with her stick while several players battled for possession.  Eventually rookie Elinore O'Brien (New Canaan, Conn.) got the last touch and pushed the loose ball into the net, upping her season total to six goals.

            While Middlebury held an 11-5 edge in total shots, Wesleyan controlled the corners with a 10-5 margin.  Middlebury netminder junior Becca Shaw (S. Burlington, Vt.) logged her second shutout of the season, needing just three saves.

            Greer netted her team-leading 10th goal of the season to lift 16th ranked Middlebury to a 1-0 win at Connecticut College on Saturday.  

            Greer scored on a pass by junior Heather Karpas (Greenwood Village, Colo.) with 20:03 remaining in the opening half. She leads the Panthers with 10 goals, seven assists and 27 points.

            Later on in the half, the Camels nearly tied the game with 13:25 to go. The Camels cycled the ball to Abby Hine on a corner with 27:30 to go but her shot was just wide of the cage.  Andrea Hoisington helped set up another scoring chance with 13:25 remaining but a shot by Jess Lewis angled just outside the goal.

            Greer nearly had her second goal of the day with 29:30 remaining in regulation but Aimee Rich was able to make the diving save on the scoring bid.

            Rich finished with four saves in the loss for the hosts, while sophomore Madeline Brooks (Clayton, Mo.) made one stop for the Panthers. Middlebury held a 9-6 advantage in shots, while holding an 11-7 margin in penalty corners.

            Earlier in the week, the Panthers picked up a 2-0 non-league win at Keene State (10-4) at Owl Athletic Complex on Tuesday night.

            After a scoreless first half the visiting Panthers netted two second half goals. O'Brien gave Middlebury a 1-0 lead at the 15:10 mark when she took a crossing pass from Gardiner and beat KSC senior goalie Meghan Ledoux at the side of the net.  Greer scored the Panther's second goal in the closing seconds of the game.  Gardiner also picked-up an assist on the play.

            Keene State's best opportunity to get on board came during one of their two penalty corner opportunities.  Junior Kerry Howe's top of the circle drive went just wide of the post.

            Both teams got strong play from their defense.  With the scored tied, senior Madison Kahn (St. Louis, Mo.) made a defensive save on a scoring bid by junior Alyce Ferenc five minutes into the second half.

            Controlling play most of the game, Middlebury had a wide advantage in shots (19-3) and penalty corners (11-2). Ledoux finished the game with eight saves. Both Shaw, who played the first 62:41 of the game and Brooks, who saw 7:19 of action, were not credited with saves.
• Field hockey record: 8-3
• Up next: 10/20 vs. St. Lawrence - 3:30, 10/23 vs. Bates - 11:00