Women's Soccer Tops Scranton In NCAA Tournament Play

November 11, 2006

The Middlebury women's soccer team defeated Scranton 4-3 in overtime to advance to the NCAA Regional final tomorrow against the host school from W. Connecticut at 6:00 p.m. Nora Tomlinson Weintraub tallied the game winner with 2:09 to play in overtime.

Just 8:30 into the first half the Panthers (14-4-1) got on the board first, 1-0, as Caitrin Abshere scored on an assist from fellow midfielder Laura Kwoh. After even play for the next 35 minutes the Royals evened the score at 1-1. Scranton (12-7-2) defender Beth Stephens sent a shot that was saved by Middlebury keeper Adele Plunkett, the ball was deflected out to the foot of Mary Beth Vogel and Vogel put the ball away to tie the game with just 2:04 remaining in the half. Neither side would score in the final two minutes and the teams went into the break knotted at one goal apiece.  

Less than three minutes into the second half the Panthers had a great scoring chance but Plunkett came up with a huge save to, temporarily, keep the score at 1-1. With 40:57 to play, however, the Royals took the lead, 2-1, as Jessica Beha scored on a deflection after Kaitlin Baker had a shot that was stopped by Plunkett. With 17:03 to play the Panthers erased the deficit as Tomlinson-Weintraub fired a rocket from 18 yards out that was deflected off Scranton  goalkeeper Desiree Dabaldo's hands and into the goal to make it a 2-2 game on an assist by Abshere. The assist was the 24th of her career for Middlebury, a new Panther record. 

With 11:17 to go in the game, the Royals generated a counter attack that resulted in Beha sending a shot towards the net that was deflected off a Middlebury defender and over the head of Plunkett to give Scranton a 3-2 lead.

Just 27 seconds later the Panthers got the goal back as Kim Walker sent a shot from 20 yards out that beat Dabaldo to tie the score once again, this time at 3-3, as the goal was assisted by Tomlinson Weintraub with less than 10:50 left in regulation. Despite fervent effort in the last 10 minutes, neither side could score, and it was a 3-3 game at the end of regulation.  

With 2:09 to play in the first overtime period Tomlinson Weintraub ended the game on a direct kick from 23 yards out to give the Panthers a 4-3 victory and send the Panthers to the second round of the NCAA Tournament.  

Dabaldo stopped 16 shots for the Royals in the hard-fought loss while Plunkett came up with eight saves in victory.

--courtesy W. Conn.--