Women's Hockey Clinches Top Seed For NESCAC Tourney

February 23, 2008

Middlebury wrapped-up an undefeated NESCAC season as they defeated Wesleyan 5-1 to end the regular season. The Panthers have clinched the top seed in the NESCAC and will host the conference semifinals and finals on March 8th and 9th in Kenyon Arena.

In defeating Wesleyan this afternoon, Middlebury moved ahead 2-0 in the first period as Anna McNally tipped in a point shot on the power play at 6:22 for her 19th of the season and assisted on senior Karen Levin's shot from the right side, which slipped in under the padding of Wesleyan junior goalie Rachel Stemerman at 16:46. Levin had an assist on the first goal as well and earned her 100th career point.

The Cardinals got their lone goal on the power play 1:27 into the second period as a relatively innocent shot from beyond the blue line by junior Julia Cohen eluded sophomore keeper Lani Wright, who finished with 16 saves. Wesleyan then had a two-man advantage for 1:14 but could not come up with a tying goal. Still down a player, Middlebury got a break-away from junior Molly Vitt who was pulled down from behind, resulting in a penalty shot. Stemerman, who collected 27 stops on the afternoon, made the save as Vitt went to her left, keeping it a 2-1 game, but just 17 seconds later Heather McCormack made it 3-1 by wheeling around from the left side to score in tight.

Middlebury added a pair in the third period to lock up the win, both coming on nice tip-ins from the slot off point shots, the first at 9:33 by Erica Nakamura and the second by McCormack at 14:49 for her second of the game and seventh of the year.

Wesleyan's season came to an end while the Panthers now await the outcomes of the first-round NESCAC tournament games which take place Saturday, March 1 to find out who they will play in a NESCAC semifinal game.