Women's Soccer Wins NCAA Regional

November 12, 2006

For the second time in three years, the Middlebury women's soccer team has advanced to the NCAA sectionals. The Panthers earned the right after picking up a 3-2 win at W. Connecticut in an NCAA Regional Final on Sunday. The 15th win in '06 tied the school record. Middlebury will take on The College of N.J. next Saturday at 11:00, while Amherst meets Endicott in the other sectional match-up at 1:30. The games will take place at The College of New Jersey in Trenton, N.J.

Caitrin Abshere scored two second-half goals to lift Middlebury to the win. Her first tally gave the Panthers, 15-2-1, a 2-1 lead at the 70th minute. She was able to jar the ball loose from the W. Conn. defense on the left side of the crease and boot the ball over Colonials keeper Jenna Cappellieri.

The lead did not last long as W. Conn.'s Catherine Nathans knotted the score at 2-2 with her 22nd goal of the season at the 74:18 mark. She received a long pass from Nicole Sieber down the middle of the pitch.

Abshere and Middlebury retaliated just 22 seconds later after gathering another ball that deflected off the W. Conn. defense. It was her sixth goal of the season.

The Panthers got on the scoreboard in the first half when Kim Walker netted her fifth goal of the season off a direct kick from Erin Oliver in the 18th minute of play.

W. Conn. evened the score, off a set piece, when Caitlin Boyle lofted a pass into the center of the goalmouth and Jessica Sperlazza headed it by Middlebury keeper Adele Plunkett with 1:12 remaining before intermission.

Plunkett finished with 10 saves while Cappellieri turned away five shots for the Colonials.

1. 18:12 MIDWSOC Kim Walker (5) (Erin Oliver)
2. 43:48 WCSUWS Jessica Sperlazza (5) (Caitlin Boyle)
3. 70:52 MIDWSOC Caity Abshere (5)
4. 74:18 WCSUWS Catherine Nathans (22) (Nicole Sieber)
5. 77:53 MIDWSOC Caity Abshere (6) (unassisted)

Shots: Middlebury 18, Western Connecticut 20
Saves: Middlebury 10 (Adele Plunkett 10), Western Connecticut 5 (Jenna Cappellieri 5)