Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Regional finals with a 13-4 win over Endicott on Kohn Field. The 17-2 Panthers, owners of a 44-13 record in NCAA action, will host Rensselaer, a 9-8 winner over Gettysburg, on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a trip to the final four on the line. The Gulls, after winning their first-ever NCAA game earlier this week, end their season with a record of 13-8.
Ellen Halle opened the game for Middlebury with a goal at 25:17 after picking up a rebound for the in-close tally. The Panthers moved to 2-0 on the visitors after a turnover by the Gulls as Chrissy Ritter found Alice Pfeffer at 22:51. Just over a minute later, Endicott got on the board on a free-possession shot by Holly Davis.
Leading 2-1, Middlebury went on a five-goal run, as five different Panthers scored, capped by Katie Ritter's tally at 5:11. The five-goal run could have been even larger except for the deft play in net by Endicott goalie Rachel Socolow. The net-minder made several huge saves at the beginning of the Panther run and finished the first half with 10 stops.
Trailing 7-1, the Gulls strung together a trio of goals, the first set-up on a feed from Kelly Tierney to Callie Murphy at 3:39. Tierney netted the second goal on a free-possession shot at 2:13, and 13 second later, off a draw control win, Davis scored her second of the game. As the Panthers took a 7-3 lead into intermission, Middlebury held a 20-7 advantage in shots, while their defense forced 13 turnovers, while allowed just 5-12 Endicott clears in the first 30 minutes.
Middlebury wasted little time building on its lead in the second half as Margaret Souther notched her second of the game at 29:34. Halle netted the next two, the first off a feed from Souther at 27:31, as her second was a free-possession tally. With a 10-4 lead, Souther set-up a cutting Liza Herzog at 22:48 four a seven-goal lead.
Lexi DeMarco collected a pass from fellow Panther Katie Ritter as she cut to the net, scoring her first of the game at 15:11. Dee Miller capped the scoring at 8:43 with a free-position shot the got beneath Socolow's stick, setting the final at 13-4. While Socolow was busy making 17 saves in net, her counterpart for Middlebury, Alyssa Palomba, did not record a save in the contest. Palomba saw just seven Endicott shot attempts all game and none in the second half.
Souther paced Middlebury with two goals and two assists, while Halle collected a hat-trick. Katie Ritter added a goal and one assist, while seven others added a goal. Michaela Colbert and Heather Marrison shared the team lead with three groundballs, while Catherine Folwer's three draw controls were a team-high.
Davis' two goals and a team-best three draw controls paced Endicott, as Tierney finished with a goal and an assist. Gabrielle Boyle paced the Gulls with a game-high four groundballs.
Courtesy: Middlebury Athletics
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