Women’s Soccer Wins Coach Kim’s 100th

By Alex Morris

The women’s soccer team continued its impressive season this past weekend by posting a commanding 3-0 win against Bates on Saturday, Oct. 20. The victory was also head coach Peter Kim’s 100th career win at the helm of the program, making the homecoming win even more significant.

With the victory, Kim became the first women’s soccer coach in school history to reach 100 wins. After nine seasons, he now holds a career record of 100-35-18.

The game started off at a slow pace, with both team’s defenses active in negating any offensive attacks. However, just moments after Moria Sloan ’15 hit the post with five minutes left in the first half, Middlebury’s Claire Nishioka ’15 broke the deadlock. After a cross from the right side flank, Scarlett Kirk ’14 flicked the ball on for Nishioka to volley into the net.

After growing in confidence from the late goal, Middlebury played the second half mainly on Bates’s side, applying pressure with several give and go’s outside the 18-yard box. The patient build-up was rewarded in the 67th minute after Rachel Madding ’13 played a through ball for Kirk who slotted it home past the Bobcat keeper.

The Panthers wrapped up the scoring in the 88th minute when Middlebury was awarded a penalty kick after a foul by Bates goalkeeper Anabel Schmelz.  Hannah Newman ’13 kept her nerve to drive the ball into the lower left corner.

Captain Lucy Wagner ’13 was encouraged by Saturday’s win.

“I’m very confident in the abilities of this team,” said Wagner.  “Every player on the team has been very impactful in raising the level of practice and competition and in helping to keep our spirits high. We are still working to maintain control of games throughout the 90 minutes, and to continue to assert our style.”

The win against Bates capped off three consecutive wins in the space of a week.  The Panthers recorded a 2-1 win against Trinity on Saturday, Oct. 13, followed by a dramatic 2-1 victory against Skidmore on Tuesday, Oct. 16.

Middlebury took the lead against Trinity in the 32nd minute after Carter Talgo ’15 fed Julia Favorito ’14, who then snuck a cross over Trinity goalie Monica DiFlori.

While the Bantams managed to sneak a goal back at the beginning of the second half, the two contributors to Middlebury’s first goal combined again. Favorito assisted Talgo in the 75th to finish the game at 2-1.

Against Skidmore, the Panthers made their mark on the game in the second minute, after Kirk chipped the ball over goalkeeper Gab Lawrence from 10 yards out.

Skidmore’s Kelsey Yam then leveled the score on a header off Michelle Finan’s corner.

Even though Middlebury had chances to pull ahead, the game was forced into double overtime.  Kirk finally ended the game in the 102nd minute with a long-range strike into the right hand corner.
Kirk, with her three goals and an assist against Skidmore and Bates, received NESCAC Player of the Week honors.

Co-captain Amy Schlueter ’13 commented on her team’s confidence as they head towards the conference tournament.

“Bouncing back from our loss [against Conn. Coll.] with three straight wins is definitely a boost to our confidence as we head toward the playoffs,” said Schlueter.  “Our team pulled out three scrappy victories against physical and hardworking opponents.  Going into the next game and the final stretch of the season, we’re looking to combine that scrap with our possession-oriented attack.”

With the win against Bates, the Panthers will host a NESCAC quarterfinal home game, scheduled for this Saturday, October 27.