Favorito’s Goal in 86th Minute Stuns Polar Bears in Brunswick

By Alex Morris

The Middlebury women’s soccer team scored with 3:29 left on the clock to ensure a 2-1 road victory over Bowdoin on Saturday, Sept. 21. The Panthers built on a strong non-conference record with a 5-0 win on Tuesday, Sept. 24.

Middlebury started the game as the stronger side. Less than 15 minutes into the half, the Panthers were denied an opening goal, as Bowdoin keeper Bridget McCarthy did well to get down and parry the ball away for a corner. Middlebury continued to control play in the opening half with a 5-1 advantage in shots on net.

The first goal of the game came as Amy Martin ’14 launched a shot that ricocheted off the crossbar. After a scramble in the box, the ball came to senior captain Julia Favorito ’14 who was able to tuck the ball away in the bottom corner.

The Panthers were unable to replicate their dominant first half performance in the opening minutes of the second half, as Bowdoin came out strong. The Polar Bears first came close with a shot toward the top left hand corner from Maya Norman, forcing Elizabeth Foody ’14 into a diving save. The Panthers keeper was able to tip the ball onto the crossbar and out for a corner.

Bowdoin’s breakthrough came with under seven minutes remaining after a foul by Middlebury gave the Polar Bear’s a free kick in the center of the 18. Jamie Hofstetter capitalized on the good position by curling the ball into the back of Foody’s net.

However, Middlebury was not rattled by the late equaliser. Just three minutes after the last goal, Scarlett Kirk ’14 passed the ball to Favorito at the top of the box. She was able to turn and launch a shot into the top right corner.

“It was probably one of the most exciting goals I’ve ever scored,” Favorito said. “The win felt well deserved based on the way we had played the entire match, so I was glad I could come through for them. I was very proud of how our team did not fall apart when Bowdoin scored an equalizer late in the game. Even while under pressure everyone remained focused and continued to play our style game. “

Kirk and Favorito are proving to be a deadly duo in the beginning of the season, playing a part in 12 of Middlebury’s 19 goals, and combining together for the two of them.

“I’ve had a lot of fun playing up top this year,” Favorito said. I love our system because of how dynamic it is and how many people get to join the attack. I love playing with Scarlett up top because we play off of each other really well.”

The Panthers held a 17-10 shot advantage over Bowdoin, with eight shots coming on net for Middlebury to only five for Bowdoin. McCarthy had six stops to Foody’s four.

Kirk continued to dominate offensively, after tying the school record with her second hat trick of the season on Tuesday.

The senior striker netted four goals in the game, her first coming just seven minutes into the game. She showed her pace and power, twice scoring solo goals after out-muscling defenders to get in one-on-one situations with the keeper.

Hannah Robinson ’16 also played an active role in the game, assisting one of Kirk’s goals and also being converted from the penalty spot.

Co-captain Lindsay Kingston ’14 is confident that her team can compete with anyone in the NESCAC.

“We expect to be a top competitor in the NESCAC,” Kingston said. “We prioritize shut outs, but are obviously looking to really score a lot of goals. Our first years are a huge part of our team and we expect them to step up.”

The Panther’s return to action Saturday, Sept. 28 against Colby.

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