Women's Soccer Enjoys Successful Trip To Europe

August 19, 2008

The Middlebury women's soccer team has just completed a 10-day tour of Europe, stopping in the Netherlands and Germany for four matches against Dutch and German club teams.

In the first match, the team was hosted by VOW Zijtaart. Caitlin Parker opened the scoring early in the match with a well placed shot from the top of the penalty area that beat the Zijtaart keeper to her right. The hosts had a couple of chances against Middlebury goalkeepers Adele Plunkett and Ashley Galloway, but Middlebury dominated most of the match. Nora Tomlinson-Weintraub, Lindsay Rotherham, Tiffany Orlowski, and Annie Rowell each added a goal for a 5-0 victory.

The team spent its time in Holland being guided by coach Hub Salden, regional technical director for the Dutch football federation, the KNVB.

The second match saw the Panthers face another Zijtaart side, and they again earned the same result. Parker, Margaret Owen, Zoë Victor, and Tomlinson-Weintraub all contributed to the team's two match sweep of Holland with a 5-0 win. Lauryn Torch and Plunkett earned the shutout for Middlebury.

Next, the team traveled to the Rhineland region of Germany to train and play in and around Cologne. The first match paired them with a tough German Second Division team, FC Brauweiler, in an extremely competitive match. Brauweiler pressured the visitors early, ringing the goalpost to keeper Galloway's left twice inside the first 10 minutes of play, then forcing a handful of big saves from the junior and her backs. Tomlinson-Weintraub and Owen pressured Brauweiler's goal, but were stifled by a strong keeper. Molly West nearly put Middlebury ahead when she beat two defenders down the left wing, as well as the goalkeeper, only to see her shot to the far side nick the inside of the post and be cleared.

West continued to wreak havoc on the flank, and in the second half midfielder Anne Ford put her team ahead. West again beat her defender and served a cross into the penalty area, where Ford calmly placed the ball into the side netting. Middlebury continued to put pressure on an extremely strong Brauweiler team, but the hosts tied the game with 10 minutes remaining to earn a 1-1 draw.

In the final match of the tour, Middlebury faced legendary German club FC Moenchengladbach, in an end-to-end match. Plunkett was tested early, and made several important saves in the first half to keep a clean sheet for the first 45 minutes. Parker continued her scoring ways with a brilliant flick to beat her defender and FCM's goalkeeper to put Middlebury up 1-0 at the half.

In the second half, however, the hosts struck first with a clever bit of individual work from FCM's center midfielder, also captain of the Turkish national team. The goal only ignited the Panthers, who scored the next three goals. Ford struck two - the first a thunderous strike from the top of the box after Owen did the legwork from the left side, and the second off a brilliant service from Caroline Downer. Annie Rowell slotted home a through ball to finish her team's scoring.

Middlebury opens its season September 6th at Stevens Institute.