Women’s Hockey Preview

By Fritz Parker

2013-2014 record: 17-4-4

Captain: Kate Moreau ’15

Coming off of a season in which an early exit from the NESCAC tournament caused the team to narrowly miss out on a bid to the NCAA tournament, the Panther women’s hockey team will look to kick off a new postseason streak during the 2014-15 season.

After riding a 17-3-4 regular-season record to the top seed in the conference in 2013-2014, the Panthers saw their season come to an abrupt halt with an upset loss to Connecticut College. That promising Panther squad featured a pair of All-NESCAC selections in defender Carly Watson ’17 and goalkeeper Annabelle Jones ’15 who will return to lead the team this season.

Middlebury will also benefit from its strong upperclassman presence on the defensive end, with Hannah Bielawski ’15, captain Kate Moreau ’15 and Julia Wardwell ’16 all looking to contribute. On the attack, Emily Fluke ’15 and Jessica Young ’18 lead a young unit that also features Katie Mandigo ’16 and Kelly Sherman ’17.

As has been the case in past years, the Panthers’ schedule features a balance of conference matchups and highly competitive regional competition. Middlebury — ranked fifth in the national preseason poll — will jockey with Amherst and Bowdoin for the top spot in the conference, while also squaring off with the nation’s top three teams in Plattsburgh, Norwich and Elmira during out-of-conference play.

Following the conclusion of the regular season in late February, the Panthers will take part in the NESCAC tournament. If they qualify, the team will then make their 12th NCAA appearance in the 14-year history of that tournament.

Middlebury last took part in NCAAs in 2013, when they fell in the national title game to Elmira.

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