In front of a crowd of nearly 200 people, the Middlebury women’s soccer team continued its strong start to the season with a 3-0 win at Colby on Saturday, Sept. 15, earning the team’s first win on the road. The team’s second road win followed shortly after, when the Panthers won a dramatic overtime game at Plattsburgh State, Tuesday Sept. 18.
Middlebury has laid down a strong foundation with four wins in four chances and has yet to allow a goal two weeks into the campaign.
In the Saturday game at Colby, the Panthers took an early lead in the first half with a long-range effort from Rachel Madding ’13.
Dominating the Mules in the first half, the side continued to command the pitch when first-year Hannah Robinson ’16 added to the scoring, with an assist from Julie Favoritio ’14. Ali Ombsberg ’15 then finished off the game on a high note with a goal in the final 10 minutes, guiding the ball into the back of the net off of a smooth corner kick from Scarlett Kirk ’14.
Following the game, co-captain Amy Schlueter ’13 was pleased by the contributions from younger players.
“We’re very excited about how many different players have scored,” Schlueter said. “We think it’s a testament to the depth of our team this year.”
Throughout the young season the Middlebury women have outshelled their opponents with overall shots, and a lopsided shot margin on Saturday again attested to the attacking prowess of the Panthers, who had 11 shots on goal to Colby’s four.
While the offense again proved clinical in front of the goal, Middlebury’s defense denied Colby any chance of a comeback, stifling the Mules’ forward play and helping goalkeeper Elizabeth Foody ’14 tally another clean sheet.
Foody then added another shutout, her fourth in four games this season, in the Panthers’ 1-0 win over Plattsburgh on Tuesday.
For the first time this season Middlebury was held without a goal in regular time. In the 100th minute of play, however, at the stroke of the end of the first half of overtime, Kirk found the back of the net off a feed from Favorito, ending the game.
“We were frustrated during the game about our inability to finish and our chances,” said co-captain Colby Gibbs ’13, “but we persisted and never gave up, working through pouring rain and high winds.”
The team is determined to remain focused and grounded despite its undefeated start.
“We’re really happy with the way we’ve begun the season,” said co-captain Maddy Boston ’13. “We’re not focusing on being undefeated as much as we are on improving our game and prioritizing shutouts.”
Head coach Peter Kim echoed his captains’ sentiments.
“We will continue to unfurl our playing style week by week, while making sure that the players get enough technical repetitions so that they can treat the ball properly throughout each match,” Kim said. “Most importantly, we’re just looking to enjoy the game.”