Middlebury netted the game's first goal, but Tufts scored twice in the second half to rally for a 2-1 win Saturday over the Panthers in a showdown of nationally-ranked field hockey programs on Kohn Field. The loss dropped third-ranked Middlebury to 7-2 and 4-2 in the NESCAC, while the seventh-ranked Jumbos improved to 9-1 and 5-1 in league action. The Panthers are right back on the field tomorrow at 12:00 p.m., hosting SUNY New Paltz, while Tufts is at Connecticut college next Saturday.
Middlebury tallied the only goal of the first half directly after Tufts' best opportunity to break the scoreless tie. Following an insert on a penalty corner, Annie Artz tipped a shot just wide of the left post for the Jumbos with 13:10 remaining. The Panthers quickly transitioned the ball into the Tufts half of the field with Grace Jennings and Lauren Schweppe passing the ball back-and-forth. Once inside the circle, Jennings sent a pass from the left side back to Schweppe, who swept a shot under Jumbo goalie Emily Polinski. The goal was Schweppe's sixth of the season and came with 12:43 left in the half.
The Panthers held a one-goal lead at the start of the second stanza, but the visitors tied the game 9:33 in. Artz inserted a penalty corner from the left to Erin Sanders, who laced a long shot in for her third tally of the season.
Tufts took the lead with 11:57 left in regulation when Mary Travers was taken down inside the circle and the Jumbos were awarded a penalty stroke. Mary Kate Patton put a shot toward the left post that just eluded the effort of Middlebury goalie Emily Miller to put the guests in front for the first time.
The Panthers had a chance to get the equalizer with just over three minutes left when they were awarded a penalty corner, but Annie Leonard's blast went wide of the cage.
Miller finished with a pair of saves for the Panthers and Polinski recorded one as Tufts held a 10-6 advantage in shots and 5-2 in penalty corners. The loss also snapped Middlebury's 20-game home-winning streak, dating back to the 2014 season.
Courtesy: Middlebury Athletics
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