Middlebury had little trouble with Castleton, as the third-ranked Panthers picked up a 20-3 win in an NCAA first-round game on Kohn Field. Middlebury (16-2) will now host an NCAA Regional this weekend on Kohn Field. The Panthers will battle Endicott at 11:30 a.m. Saturday, while Rensselaer takes on Gettysburg at 2:30 p.m. The winners meet in the regional final at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday. Castleton ends its season with a 10-8 mark, including a NAC Championship.
Middlebury rattled off the game's first five goals in a 6:39 span. Chrissy Ritter scored twice during the run, as did team and NESCAC leading scorer Ellen Halle (52 goals). Castleton got on the board at the 21:33 mark when Amanda Flodstrom made a quick turn-around shot after a feed from Jessica Taplin.
The Panthers quickly responded with six goals in a span of 5:21 to take an 11-1 lead with 12:12 remaining. Ritter netted her third to start the run, followed by a goal from Emma Kramer driving through traffic. Laurel Pascal then struck for a pair before Liza Herzog scored on her own rebound. Katie Ritter netted the final goal of the run with a high shot into the back of the net.
The Panthers slowed the game down for the remainder of the half. Middlebury's Alli Sciaretta scored at 6:15, before Flodstrom netted her second of the half for the Spartans at the 4:50 mark to make it a 12-2 game at the break.
Seven different Middlebury players scored the first seven goals of the second half, working the ball around the offensive zone. Taplin broke the streak with a Castleton goal with 41 seconds remaining, before Panther Cat Lincoln scored the game's final goal.
C. Ritter and Herzog each scored three times for Middlebury, with Halle, Pascal, K. Ritter and Lincoln each scoring twice. K. Ritter added a pair of helpers, while Heather Marrison had four ground balls and three caused turnovers. Alyssa Palomba earned the win in goal with two first half saves, while Katie Mandigo (2 saves) and Madeleine Kinker split second half duties.
Flodstrom's two goals led Castleton, while Taplin earned a goal and two assists. Kate Auer picked up five draw controls in the game to pace the Spartans. Meghan Els made seven saves in 47 minutes, while Lily Derbyshire made three stops in 13 minutes of action in net.
The Panther defense held Castleton to success on just 7-18 clearing attempts, holding a 36-7 advantage in shots.
Courtesy: Middlebury Athletics
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