October 25, 2010

            Middlebury remained unbeaten in its last six NESCAC games, as the Panthers (7-3-3) picked up a 2-0 win over Bates (6-6-1) on homecoming weekend. The Panthers wrap up their regular season next Friday at Williams, as they battle to secure home field for a NESCAC Tournament quarterfinal game.

            Middlebury out shot Bates 14-2 in the first half, but could not find the back of the net. The Panthers kept the pressure coming in the second session, as senior Nora Tomlinson-Weintraub (Burlingame, Calif.) broke in on the right side and saw her shot skim the crossbar. Bates' Annie Burns kept it a scoreless game at 67:30, tipping an attempt over the net after first-year player Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) got off a quick shot.

            Middlebury broke through just seconds later, when senior Drew Smith (Silver Spring, Md.) scored her first of the season at 67:54. After an initial shot by sophomore Maddy Boston (Mill Valley, Calif.) was blocked by a defender, Smith grabbed the rebound in the box and finished for the 1-0 lead.

            The Panthers extended their lead late in the game, when Kirk netted her sixth of the year with 3:38 left to play. Senior Katie Ruymann (Medford, N.J.) took a blast on a restart from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar, with Kirk there to gather the rebound and finish for the 2-0 win.

            Senior Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.) ended the game with three saves to earn her fourth shutout of the season, while Burns finished with four saves for Bates.

            Middlebury fell at Plattsburgh 1-0 on Wednesday night. Kayla Rabideau scored her team-leading sixth goal of the season to lead Plattsburgh to the win. Rabideau netted the game-winner at 64:50 off a ball that was knocked around the box following a corner kick. Emily LaLone was credited with the lone assist.

            Middlebury held a 10-8 advantage in shots and 3-2 edge in corner kicks. Alina Greiser recorded her ninth shutout of the season with four stops for Plattsburgh in the victory.  Torch (1 save) and sophomore Jocelyn Remmert (Pelham, N.Y.) (2 saves) split time in the Middlebury net. 

            Middlebury extended its string of games without a loss against Wesleyan to 16 in a row by producing a 0-0 double-overtime deadlock on Tuesday.

            The shots in the game were nearly even as the Cardinals held a slim 17-16 margin in total attempts while the shots on goal only differed by one as well, 9-8, in Middlebury's favor.  As a result, Torch logged eight stops to post her third shutout of the year.  Wesleyan keeper Grace Bomann, picked up her second straight shutout in only her third career start, with eight saves as well.

            Bomann's first save of the contest was perhaps her best coming midway through the first half.  Rookie Julie Favorito (Winchester, Mass.) launched a bullet from about 25 yards out from a slight angle on the left that was destined for the inside of the near post head-high.  Bomann reacted well to the ball to hit it wide with both hands. Two minutes later, the Cardinals had a chance as Kerry Doyle penetrated the box on the right and lined up a close-range shot which was blocked by rookie Lindsay Kingston (Charlotte, Vt.) of the Panthers. With about 12 minutes to go in the first half, the second of two straight corner kicks by the visitors resulted in a great opportunity for Kirk but Wesleyan defender Hannah Stuckey was in the right spot to keep the ball from going into the Wesleyan net at the near post.

            The second half, which was controlled by the Cardinals with an 8-4 edge in shots, gave rise to one of the best scoring chances by the host when junior Barrie Lindsay got the ball facing the right post from 10 yards out. Her initial shot was tipped by Torch so it hit the upright and went right back to Lindsay. Her second attempt was grabbed by Torch to preserve the shutout.  

            Middlebury dominated the first overtime stanza, getting off five shots to none by Wesleyan. Several were open shots from inside the box but on three occasions the shots sailed high or wide and Bomann made two stops. Wesleyan generated a dangerous chance in the second overtime when sophomore Kaylin Berger sent a free kick curling into the box toward the left post. Torch came out to play the ball and it bounced over her head into a maze of players. The ball eventually came out to the top of the box where junior Emma Nitzberg took a shot, which was blocked by the Panther defense. Middlebury is now 19-3-4 all-time vs. Wesleyan and 13-0-3 in the last 16 encounters since Wesleyan last won in 1994.  
• Women's soccer record: 7-3-3
• Up next: 10/29 @ Williams - 2:00, 10/31 vs. TBA - (NESCAC Quarterfinals)