Women’s Soccer Wins at Wesleyan To Reach 6-0-1

Panthers+keeper+Elizabeth+Foody+%E2%80%9914+defends+a+Wesleyan+corner+kick%2C+as+Colby+Gibbs+%E2%80%9913+and+Rachel+Madding+%E2%80%9913+look+on.+%28Courtesy%2FJeff+Patterson%29
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Women’s Soccer Wins at Wesleyan To Reach 6-0-1

Panthers keeper Elizabeth Foody ’14 defends a Wesleyan corner kick, as Colby Gibbs ’13 and Rachel Madding ’13 look on. (Courtesy/Jeff Patterson)

Panthers keeper Elizabeth Foody ’14 defends a Wesleyan corner kick, as Colby Gibbs ’13 and Rachel Madding ’13 look on. (Courtesy/Jeff Patterson)

Panthers keeper Elizabeth Foody ’14 defends a Wesleyan corner kick, as Colby Gibbs ’13 and Rachel Madding ’13 look on. (Courtesy/Jeff Patterson)

Panthers keeper Elizabeth Foody ’14 defends a Wesleyan corner kick, as Colby Gibbs ’13 and Rachel Madding ’13 look on. (Courtesy/Jeff Patterson)

By Alex Morris

Middlebury picked up a 2-1 away win on Saturday, Sept. 29 against Wesleyan to add to their undefeated tally. However, the Panthers were unable to continue their shut-out streak, ending a six game, 614:31 minute period without a goal conceded.

Middlebury started the game strongly, as Amy Schlueter ’13 squared the ball in the second minute for Claire Nishoika ’15, who precisely placed the ball from eight yards out in the left corner.

The Panthers continued their domination, adding another goal to their tally in the first period. Julia Favorito ’14 weaved through the defense before passing to Scarlett Kirk ’14, who placed the ball into the same part of the net as Nishoika did earlier. Kirk’s goal made her the Panther’s leading scorer of the season with three goals to her name.

The action of the first period concluded with Wesleyan’s only goal of the game, 20 seconds away from half time. After a scrappy contest in the 18-yard box, the referee awarded a free kick, 10 yards closer to the goal than the place the foul had occurred. Claire Ashforth ’15 diverted the free kick towads the net. After a series of deflections off Middlebury defenders and Wesleyan attackers alike, the ball finally landed in the back of Elizabeth Foody’s’14 net, an own goal.

“It obviously was disappointing to give up a goal, especially when it comes from something like a scrum in the box after a set piece,” Co-Captain Maddy Boston ’13 said. “However, these are important things for our team to learn and bounce back from.”

Despite the streak-ending tally, Foody continued to prove why she had earned NESCAC Player of the Week after the double header against Amherst and Bowdoin, coming up with important saves to deny Wesleyan the chance of an equalizer. Despite receiving the individual award, Foody was eager to sing the praises of the defenders in front of her.

“At that point we had not conceded a goal so it was nice recognition for our incredibly solid defense,” said Foody. “The entire backline really deserves that accolade.”

Wesleyan held an 8-5 shot advantage over Middlebury in the second half, marking the first time the Panthers have not out-shot their opponents. The Cardinals also had an 8-2 advantage in corner kicks overall.

Wesleyan gave the Panthers their first real physical challenge by pressing the team hard ,especially in the second half.

“The NESCAC is a direct, physical conference, and we need to be comfortable managing the flow of the game against highly aggressive opponents,” Coach Peter Kim said. “Wesleyan caused us some trouble and we lost our composure at times, but we recognize the moments when this happened and are better for it.”

The Panthers look to continue their perfect start on the road with a trip to Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute on Wednesday, Oct 3.

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