MIDDLEBURY, VT- Middlebury (12-2, 8-2) prevailed 6-3 over the Williams field hockey team (7-7, 4-6) this Wednesday, despite the Ephs' nearly-successful attempts to tie up the game halfway through.
Middlebury took a quick lead in the first half with junior Lauren Greer scoring on a penalty corner just 1:28 into the game, assisted by senior Lucy Jackson and junior Margaret Souther. Greer scored again at 12:08 on an unassisted rebound, thus breaking the Middlebury field hockey record for most goals scored in a season. Middlebury brought the score up to 3-0 after a shot at 20:35 by Hannah Clarke, assisted by Jackson who gained control of the ball after a rebound.
Despite Middlebury's quick succession of goals, the Ephs did not lose heart. At 26:57 sophomore Emily Pavlini (Far Hills, NJ) scored with an assist by junior Sarah Eades (Charlotte, NC) on a long pass cross-field. Senior co-captain Margie Fulton (Wellesley, MA) made a successful bid for the net just a few minutes later at 30:02 to bring the score up to 3-2.
The Ephs were hard-pressed to find opportunities for shots throughout the game, making only six shots to Middlebury's 21. Middlebury also dominated in penalty corners, earning eight in the first half and twelve in the second to Williams' two and one. This struggle was evident in the second half of the game, when the Panthers scored twice in two minutes, at 51:47 and 53:47. Middlebury first-year Catherine Fowler assisted fellow rookie Alyssa DiMaio to bring the score up to 4-2, and herself scored on a penalty corner to make it 5-2. Despite this, Williams first-year Cary Fairfield (Richmond, VA) managed to score the Ephs last goal of the night at 62:57 on a penalty corner, with an assist by senior Helena Nannes (Bethesda, MD). The Panthers finalized the score with a last-second penalty corner bid by junior Charlotte Gardiner as the second half timed out.
Ephs goalie, sophomore Ariana Spiliotes, did her best to stave off the powerful Middlebury offense, making eleven saves. Panthers goalie, senior Becca Shaw finished off the night with three saves. Both keepers played the entire game.
Head coach Alix Barrales says, "Middlebury is obviously has a very talented offense, and they executed their penalty corners beautifully. Ariana played very well, though. We did a great job of capitalizing on our opportunities in the circle. We haven't scored three goals against Middlebury in years, and we definitely have things to build on for our next game."
Williams and Middlebury will see each other again this Saturday at 1pm for their NESCAC Quarterfinals game, to be played at the Panthers home field.