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Middlebury plays for regional championships - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Middlebury plays for regional championships

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MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -

Women's Soccer Recap

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Sectionals after a 2-1 win over Endicott (16-6-2) in a regional final played on Dragone Field. The 13th-ranked Panthers (15-1-3) extend their unbeaten streak to 18 games, dating back to a season-opening loss on September 7th. Middlebury will meet Misericordia in the sectionals, while Johns Hopkins takes on Williams in the other match-up next Saturday. Site and game times will be announced on Monday.

Middlebury struck first in the contest, with a goal on a corner kick 13:36 into the game. Moria Sloan took the corner from the left side, sending a great ball to the middle where Scarlett Kirk headed the ball into the back of the net for her team-leading 12th of the year.

The Panthers had some decent chances throughout the remainder of the first half, possessing the ball for much of the play.

Middlebury looked to increase its lead in the 65th minute when Sarah Noble sent a bouncing ball towards the goal. Kirk and Endicott keeper Katie Donnelly (5 saves) both challenged for the ball, but it eluded both of them as Gull defender Clare Mansfield cleared the ball away.

The Panther scored what would prove to be a much-needed insurance goal at the 78:43 mark, the second tally of the weekend for Adrianna Gildner. A quick step gave her some room on the right side just inside the 18, before she ripped a shot into the top corner on the far side of the goal.

Endicott would not go away easily despite the 2-0 deficit, turning up the pressure on the Panthers. LeeAnn Card sent a hard cross along the end line that was partially stopped by Middlebury keeper Elizabeth Foody. The ball remained loose as Shelby McLenithan finished to make it a one-goal game with 4:07 remaining.

Endicott had one more good look with less than two minutes leftg, but a shot from Madison Missinne sailed just over the crossbar.

Middlebury finished with a 15-2 shots advantage, earning nine corner kicks while holding Endicott to none.

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Field Hockey Recap

Skidmore held off a late charge by Middlebury as the Thoroughbreds (19-3) advanced to the final four with a 3-2 road win on Kohn Field. Seventh-ranked Skidmore will meet Salisbury in the NCAA Semifinals on November 22nd at 2:00 p.m. in Virginia Beach, Va., while Bowdoin will take on Christopher Newport in the other national semifinal. Second-ranked Middlebury finishes its season with a 16-3, seeing a nine-game winning streak come to an end.

Middlebury took a 1-0 lead early with a goal on a penalty corner. Some great passing saw a reverse seep pass from Catherine Fowler to Bridget Instrum, who scored her 16th of the season. Skidmore answered at the 4:50 mark shortly after a penalty corner play. Kelly Blackhurst sent a waist-level pass to the middle that was knocked out of the air and into the back of the cage by Melanie Webb.

Skidmore took a 2-1 lead at the 16:59 mark, with a penalty corner tally from Jenn Hanks. Krista Lamoreaux inserted the ball to Hanks at the top of the circle, allowing her to blast a shot that put her team on top.

Middlebury threatened to tie the game several times throughout the remainder of the half, but Haley McDougall (7 saves) kept the Panthers off the board. Their best chance to score came in the final minute with heavy pressure, as Anna Kenyon's shot from the stroke line was denied by a glove save.

The Panthers earned three penalty corners in the first 15 minutes of the second half, but were unable to tie the game. Skidmore increased its lead at the 57:13 mark, with another tally on a penalty corner. This time Lamoreaux fed Blackhurst in the middle, who earned her 32nd of the season.

Needing a pair of goals to tie the game, the Panthers sent netminder Emily Knapp (2 saves) to the bench in favor of an extra attacker with 6:03 left to play. Middlebury turned up the pressure, while also having to dodge a penalty corner attempt by Skidmore.

The Panthers made it a one-goal game with just 34 seconds remaining with a penalty corner tally from Kenyon. Fowler made a quick feed on the left side to Kenyon, who made it a 3-2 game with her third of the season.

Middlebury took the ball right down the field after the restart, earning a penalty corner as time expired. The Panthers nearly tied the game after a flurry and scramble in the crease, but the whistle was blown, awarding the team a second penalty corner. Unfortunately for the Middlebury they were unable to take advantage of the opportunity, as Skidmore thwarted the attempt and secured the win.

Middlebury held a 13-7 shots advantage in the game, with each team taking eight penalty corners.

Courtesy: Middlebury Athletics

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