Field hockey Tops Tufts In OT - Headed To NESCAC Final

November 3, 2007

Middlebury' Reid Berrien scored the game-winning goal just 42 seconds into overtime, lifting the Panthers to a 4-3 victory over Tufts in a NESCAC Field Hockey semifinal game at Bowdoin College Saturday. With the win, Middlebury (13-3) earns their second-consecutive trip- and fourth overall- to the NESCAC Championship Game Sunday against Bowdoin.

In the rainy and windy conditions at Howard Ryan Field, the Panthers were the first team to find the net in Saturday's high-scoring affair.

Berrien got things going for Middlebury, centering a pass to Mullery Doar, who one-timed a chance into the cage 16:37 into the game.

Middlebury held the lead until late in the period, when Michelle Kelly tipped home a shot by Margi Scholtes to deadlock the contest just 2:01 before intermission.

The Jumbos grabbed the lead briefly after halftime, as Kelly notched her second goal, a tipped effort in front of the goal to give Tufts a 2-1 advantage at 38:43.

Middlebury evened the score under four minutes later, as Chase Delano connected on a high shot from the right side of the circle at 42:02. Berrien pushed the Panthers ahead with 6:31 remaining, as she collected a loose ball in the circle and ripped a low shot inside the right post to make it 3-2 Middlebury.

Tufts would tie the game again with 4:15 left when Amanda Russo finished off a scrum in front of the cage to send the contest into overtime.

With open space on the field in the extra session, Allison Grant streaked down the left sideline early in the overtime period. Drawing both a Tufts defender and goaltender out of position, she centered a pass to Berrien, who connected with a diving effort that sailed into the net unabated to give Middlebury the victory.

Katie Hyder made two saves in net for Tufts, who out-shot Middlebury 12-7 and out-cornered the Panthers 12-4. Caitlin Pentifallo stopped four shots in goal for the Panthers, who avenge an early-season loss to the Jumbos.

Middlebury, who will face Bowdoin tomorrow at noon, lost their regular season meeting to the Polar Bears, 1-0 on September 30. Bowdoin has won four-straight against the Panthers, including the 2006 NESCAC Championship Game, 1-0.