On Saturday, Oct. 17, a windy and below freezing day, former teammates gathered to watch the Middlebury women’s soccer team snatch a crucial 3-0 win against Trinity on homecoming weekend, who is second in the NESCAC standings. The Panthers now sit sixth in the conference with two games left in the regular season.
“We were trying to finally play our game,” Kim said. “We’ve shown really great glimpses this season, but haven’t really put together a full game that I knew we could. To the players credit they did that in the game against Castleton and just carried it over to the weekend.”
The beginning of contest started evenly matched with neither team able to get the ball beyond the halfway line. However, Middlebury soon came into their own and started generating some offense. The attacking trio of Hannah Robinson ’16, Jamie Soroka ’16 and Adrianna Gildner ’17 continued their impressive form, linking up well in the opening stages. Fifteen minutes into the half, Robinson found Gildner down the right side of the box, and she crossed the ball across the goalmouth to Soroka, who could not quite beat Trinity keeper Monica DiFiori. Soroka was back in action just five minutes later when she won the ball at the halfway line and played a diagonal ball in for Gildner. After chasing down the ball and drawing out the Trinity keeper, the angle was too difficult for the Middlebury striker whose shot found the feet a Trinity defender instead of the net.
Gildner broke the deadlock in the 29th minute for her eighth goal of the season. Amy Martin ’17 controlled a pass on the edge of the box and laid the ball down for Gildner to then loft the ball over DiFiori’s outstretched hands.
Middlebury seemed to find their rhythm after the opening goal, as most of the action took place in Trinity’s half.First-year Amanda Dafonte ’19 took the ball to the endline before lofting a cross in to Robinson, who almost scored on a header. Robinson followed up just minutes later, weaving in between defenders on the top of the box, but could only get off a shot that ended up in the keeper’s arms.
The Panthers picked up where they left off in the second half and were rewarded just four minutes in. Martin pounced on a Trinity mistake 30 yards out and turned on the turbo charge before sending a bouncing shot to the inside of the far post.
The Bantams showed brief signs of life after the second goal, and Middlebury had to play defense as the visitors tried to gain one back. They faced a scare with 25 minutes left in the game when the ball rolled across the face of the Middlebury goal, but no Trinity player could get on the end of it.
The Panthers responded by putting the game to bed in the 78th minute. After being fouled, Robinson sent a curling free kick that Alissa Huntington ’18 flicked backwards with her head into the net for the defender’s first goal of the season and a 3-0 Panther win.
“It’s hard to look past the shutout, the team as a whole defended really well and limited a dangerous attack to very few chances,” Kim said. “Additionally, to score three goals in a NESCAC game is a big deal.”
The Panthers ended the match with a 20-7 advantage in shots, while Kate Reinmuth ’17 finished with four saves to earn the win and her second shutout of the campaign. They move to 5-3-4 overall and 3-2-3 in the NESCAC with two league games remaining. The ladies return to action at Bates on Saturday, Oct. 24, and can improve upon their season-long two game winning streak and six game unbeaten streak.
“We’re continuing to fine tune ourselves,” Kim said. “We know what we’re capable of, but we have some tough opponents left in the schedule. It’s nice to know that our fate is in our hands, and if we win on Saturday, we’ll lock in a place in the conference tournament and even a potential top four showing, which isn’t completely up to us. Saturday’s game is massive.”
Kim’s biggest worry for the weekend, however, missing the game for the birth of his second child, due any day now.