Women's Soccer Advances To NESCAC Title Game
November 7, 2009
The Middlebury women's soccer team advanced to the NESCAC Championship game with a 1-0 victory over Amherst at Williams. The Panthers will take on the host school, a 4-2 winner over Tufts, in the title game on Sunday at noon. Jenny Galgano headed in a corner kick from teammate Margaret Owen early in the second half for the game's only goal. The tally, coming at the 49:36 mark, was the first of the season for the Middlebury defender. Middlebury improves to 12-2-2 on the season, while Amherst moves to 12-3-1. The Panthers advance to the finals for the first time since 2006, when they defeated Amherst, 1-0, for their second NESCAC title.
Saturday's semifinal was a physical battle, with 31 total fouls called. With the game still scoreless in the game's 50th minute, Middlebury was awarded a corner kick. Owen served a high-arching, well-placed ball into the box, and Galgano, who moved up for the re-start, leaped high into the air, flicking the ball into the left side of the net from about eight yards out.
Middlebury's defense was strong for a full 90 minutes, but Amherst did have a wonderful opportunity to tie the match with 31:30 left. Hannah Cooper ran onto a loose ball on the left flank, made a cut back and lofted a hard shot that caromed off the crossbar.
Panther goalkeeper Lauryn Torch later made an exceptional play off a direct kick by Amherst's Jill Kochanek's direct kick from 30 yards out, punching the ball back upfield and out of harms way.
Torch finished with seven saves in the game while Jeffs keeper Allie Horwitz made four.
The first half was extremely well contested. Both teams came up with scoring opportunities, but the half was more marked by its physical play, blocked shots and 50-50 balls.
In the game's 28th minute, Amherst's Meg Murphy booted a well-struck ball into the box. Off the ensuing scramble, teammate Jackie Hirsch fired off a shot that was blocked. Kyla Woodhouse collected the rebound, but her follow-up shot was wide.
Late in the half, just 6:05 remained, the Panthers nearly got on the board when Annie Rowell chipped a great ball from 12 yards out over the head of Horwitz and just over the crossbar.