Fowler Lifts Field Hockey To OT Win At Amherst

September 7, 2013

Catherine Fowler scored three goals, including the game-winner in overtime to lift sixth-ranked Middlebury to a 4-3 win at #16 Amherst in the season-opener for both squads. The Panthers return to action on Wednesday when they host St. Lawrence in their home-opener at 6:00 p.m.

Threatening in the sixth minute, Middlebury’s Madeleine Despins and Hannah Deoul got a pair of shots off from point-blank range, but could not push it across the goal line. Coming forward on a counter, Deoul looked to have a breakaway with just under 23 minutes to play in the first, but a charging Rachel Tannenbaum met the forward at the edge of the circle, knocking the ball away to snuff out the threat.

Keeping the pressure on, Middlebury caught Tannenbaum out of the position as the Panthers earned a penalty stroke. Stepping up to take the shot, Fowler beat Amherst’s sophomore netminder to put the visitors on top. Just over six minutes later, Fowler again found the back of the net, tucking a pass from Bridget Instrum into the left corner.

Looking to change the momentum just before the end of the half, Amherst won a penalty corner. Receiving the insert from Ellie Andersen at the top of the circle, Kirsta Zsitvay floated a pass to the back post, finding the stick of Annika Nygren Nygren, who hammered home the Jeffs’ first marker of 2013.

Riding the wave into the second half, Madeline Tank knotted things at two just minutes into the stanza by deflecting a shot from Turnbull inside the left post. Racing up the left side, Fowler threaded a feed across the crease to Deoul on the right post to pull Middlebury back ahead, 3-2.

Less than a minute later, Tank capped off a frenzied stretch with her second of the game, slotting a try into the left side of the cage to make it 3-3 shortly after the restart. With under 10 minutes to play Zsitvay looked to be in alone on a breakaway, but a heady Emily Knapp cut off the play by sliding and knocking the ball away before the forward could put a shot on net.

With neither team able to net the game winner in regulation, the teams headed into the first sudden victory overtime session. Applying much of the pressure early, Middlebury earned three penalty corners in the first three minutes, with Fowler putting a pair of chances on net. Trying to get something going, Amherst gained possession with Turnbull carrying it up the middle of the field. Looking for a streaking Andersen on the left side, Turnbull slotted a lead pass, but was cut off by a charging Knapp, who kicked the ball away from danger.

Moving back into the Amherst circle, the Panthers won their fourth corner of the extra session. Corralling the ball on the left side, Fowler broke toward goal, side-stepping Tannenbaum before ripping a low shot into the net to end the contest.

Knapp finished with 13 saves to earn the win, while Tannenbaum made eight stops for the Jeffs.