Carter Talgo scored the game's only goal 38:41 into the contest as #13 Middlebury won its third NESCAC Championship with a 1-0 victory over #17 Williams (12-3-2) on Dragone Field. The Panthers (13-1-3) receive an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament and will learn their fate when the selections are announced on Monday. Middlebury extends its unbeaten streak to 16 games, dating back to an opening game loss on September 7th.
Williams had a great chance to score in the 12th minute, but a beautiful volley shot from Kristi Kirshe was denied by Elizabeth Foody as she tipped the shot over the crossbar. On the ensuing corner kick, Alex McInturf got an open look at the goal as Foody came out to play the corner, but her shot was saved by Panther defender Moria Sloan.
The Ephs again threatened in the 16th minute when Audrey Thomas played a ball ahead to Kirshe. Foody came out to challenge the play and dove on the ball before Kirshe was able to get a shot away.
The game-winner came at the 38:41 mark of the first half, the third of the season from Talgo. Sarah Noble's shot from 23 yards out was just tipped by Eph keeper Hannah Van Wetter, as the ball fell into the goal mouth. Talgo was crashing the net and tapped the ball into the corner to put her team up 1-0.
In the second half, Scarlett Kirk looked as though she'd have a good look in the 55th minute, but Lilly Wellenbach challenged her and prevented the shot.
Williams put on the pressure late in the game with a pair of golden opportunities. Carla Nicasio played a short cross from the left to Thomas, with her header going just over the crossbar with six minutes remaining. Just two minutes later, Thomas saw her shot from 15 yards out tip the cross bar as it went just high.
Foody finished the game with four saves to earn her fifth shutout of the season. Van Wetter made three stops for Williams, as the Ephs held a 10-4 shots advantage in the contest.
The title was the first for the Panthers since '06, with the '00 also bringing home the NESCAC crown. Williams was looking for its seventh championship, entering the game with nine wins in its last 10 games. The loss came by the same score at the hands of the Panthers back on October 22nd.
Courtesy: Middlebury Athletics
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