Women's Soccer Defeats Williams - Clinches Top Seed

October 24, 2012

The Middlebury women’s soccer team clinched the top seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament with a 3-1 road win at Williams (10-3-1, 8-1-1). The 11th-ranked Panthers (11-1-1, 8-1-1 NESCAC) will host a NESCAC Quarterfinal game on Saturday at 12:30 p.m. and have earned the right to host the semifinals/final on November 3-4 with a victory.

The Panthers controlled much of the opening frame with their stellar passing game.  They were first on the board in the 14th minute when Julia Favorito found the back of the net. Kirk fed the ball into the box from the left sideline before Favorito played the ball down with a header and made a quick move before sailing the ball over Eph keeper Laura Wann’s head.

The Panthers tried to add to their lead late in the first half as  Favorito was by herself in the top right portion of the box.  She had a good look at the net, but Wann was able to come to the near post and make a great save to keep the score at 1-0 as the teams went into the break. Middlebury outshot Williams by a tally of 6-3 in the opening frame.

Nicasio tied the game for Williams in the second half, rocketing a ball over the head of Foody and into the net from the left side

 Despite the Ephs’ added push, the Panthers refused to go away. Middlebury countered just over 20 minutes into the second half.  Kirk carried the ball up the right side on a breakaway and was able to score past Wann who had come out to cut off the shot.

Just minutes later, the Ephs looked like they might score again. Mai Mitsuyama dished the ball into the box off of a corner.  Crystal Lewin was able to get off two shots, but Middlebury defenders blocked them both.  Caitlyn Clark was able to keep the ball in the box and looked like she might get one of her own, but she collided with Foody, and Middlebury was able to clear.

In the 71st minute, the Panthers struck again.  After forcing a turnover in the midfield, Favorito took over and passed ahead to Kirk in the center of the field just outside of the box.  With Wann alone up ahead, Kirk lofted the ball over her head for her ninth goal of the year and second on the day.

Favorito had another good look at the net with 12 minutes on the clock, but Wann made a great save on the point-black shot from the center of the box.  Down the other end just over four minutes later, the Ephs looked like they might gain a goal back when Nicasio received a through pass by herself in the middle of the box.  She had a great look at the net, but Foody was able to make a beautiful kick save to keep the game at 3-1. 

The Panthers outshot the Ephs 14-10 as Wann posted five saves for Williams and Foody recorded four for Middlebury.