September 13, 2010

Tufts rookie Maeve Stewart started her collegiate career with a hat trick to lead Tufts to a 3-0 NESCAC victory over the 11th ranked Middlebury College Panthers at Kraft Field on Saturday afternoon.

            Senior Carrie Wilson had the ball in the back and put a pass through to Stewart, who beat her defender and blasted a shot to the lower left corner past senior keeper Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.) to open the scoring for the Jumbos in the 10th minute.  Sophomore Amy Schlueter (San Francisco, Calif.) had a chance to tie the game for Middlebury, but her shot hit the bottom of the cross bar and bounced away from the net.

            Stewart added her second of the contest just 1:36 into the second half of action. She collected a volley pass from junior Lauren O'Connor, beat her defender and chipped a shot over a sprawling Torch. A little less than nine minutes later, Stewart added her third of the contest.  Junior Jamie Love-Nichols made a move on the endline to beat her defender and fed Stewart at the six-yard box and she chipped a shot into the open net.  Torch made the save of the contest in the second half off a penalty shot by Tufts senior Sarah Nolet that would have given the Jumbos a 4-0 advantage.

            Sophomore Pheobe Hanley picked up the win in net for the Jumbos after playing the first half of action. Hanely made two saves in the first 45 minutes of play, while first year Kristen Wright played the final 45 minutes of action and made one stop to preserve the shutout for the Jumbos.  Torch stopped four shots for the Panthers, including three in the second half.  Tufts outshot Middlebury by an 11-10 margin, while the Panthers had the edge in corner kicks, 6-3.

            Middlebury moved to 0-1-1 on the season as they earned a 1-1 road tie at Wheaton on Sunday. The Lions trailed 1-0 for a fourth time this season, before scoring a second-half goal to force overtime and settled for a 1-1 tie after 110 minutes. The contest was a rematch of last year's NCAA Tournament contest, where the Panthers were 2-1 winners.

            Staying unbeaten at 4-0-1, the Lyons are receiving national votes and are ranked fourth in New England by the National Soccer Coaches Association of America (NSCAA).  The Panthers, which opened their season with a loss yesterday, stand 11th nationally and second in the region.

            After controlling play in the opening half, Middlebury broke the stalemate 7:30 into the second frame when senior Kristen Lundquist (Boxford, Mass.) headed home a cross from classmate Drew Smith (Silver Spring, Md.).

            The Lyons found the equalizer not even nine minutes later, as junior Jessica Stuart pushed her close-range shot past Torch following a free kick by sophomore Samantha Cronin.

            Wheaton had the better of the opportunities the remainder of regulation and first overtime.  With 11 minutes to go in the second half, Lyon rookie Kristina Braga had a shot from point-blank range turned aside by Torch. 

            Midway through the first extra session, Wheaton had back-to-back chances go for naught, as senior Emily Hough's blast sailed to the left of the target and Braga's rush shortly thereafter was cleared out of harm's way by a Middlebury defender.

            Junior goalie Lindsay Leddy was credited with 10 stops, including six in the opening half, for the Lyons, while Torch finished with two saves.  Middlebury ended with a 17-12 edge in shots, and corner kicks were even at four apiece.
• Women's soccer record: 0-1-1                  
• Up next: 9/15 @ Rensselaer, 9/18 vs. Trinity - 2:30, 9/19 vs. Skidmore - 2:30