Alwang Records Fourth Shutout in Women’s Soccer Draw Against Trinity

Ursula+Alwang+%E2%80%9919+makes+a+leaping+save+to+preserve+her+fourth+shutout+of+the+season+and+the+0%E2%80%930+tie+against+Trinity+on+Saturday%2C+Oct.+14.+
Ursula Alwang ’19 makes a leaping save to preserve her fourth shutout of the season and the 0–0 tie against Trinity on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Ursula Alwang ’19 makes a leaping save to preserve her fourth shutout of the season and the 0–0 tie against Trinity on Saturday, Oct. 14.

Emma Stapleton

Emma Stapleton

Ursula Alwang ’19 makes a leaping save to preserve her fourth shutout of the season and the 0–0 tie against Trinity on Saturday, Oct. 14.

By SEBASTIAN SANCHEZ

The women’s soccer contest against the Trinity Bantams this past Saturday, Oct. 14, ended scoreless after two overtimes. The match contained energy and pride as four Middlebury student-athletes played for friends and family on Senior Day.

In the first half of play, both teams found it very difficult for any team to score. Middlebury had a mere four shots on goal compared to Trinity’s two, and neither team could close on their opportunities. The Panthers’ closest opportunity came when Eliza Robinson ’21 hit a knuckling shot from 25 yards out. However, Trinity’s goalie smothered the attempt, sending the contest scoreless into the second half.

After halftime, Middlebury’s offense exploded for 11 shots, including several by Robinson, Sabrina Glaser ’20 and Eliza Van Voorhis ’21. Trinity had the best scoring opportunity when a Bantam forward blasted a shot from 25 yards out. Ursula Awang ’19 batted the ball above the crossbar to save the shot. Van Voorhis got the next best look after a crossing pass flew just out of reach. Thus far, the game had been a defensive showdown.

“Saturday’s game was a defensive battle in midfield early on,” head coach Peter Kim said. “We had better chances, but all in all were not as successful at breaking Trinity down as we would have hoped to be. Trinity’s goalkeeper was on all day, so she denied us some key opportunities early on to keep her team in the game. In the second half, we tried pushing harder for the game-winner, and as a result opened ourselves a bit to their fast counterattack. Our goalkeeper, Alwang, came up big for us on a few important occasions to keep Trinity out.”

While Alwang did indeed come up big for the Panthers, the offense could not find any holes in the Bantam net. It was a hard and physical match up, as teams headed into the first overtime still scoreless.

“It was definitely a long game with double overtime,” Sarah Dicenso ’19 said. “We have gone into overtime in a couple of games before this so we were physically and mentally prepared to play more. We passed and possessed the ball well in the first half but couldn’t quite do the same in the second half. Trinity is a very good team and the match was back and forth. We showed good physicality and got some opportunities on goal that we should have finished earlier.”

Neither team could score. Both teams had only two shots on goal and neither could find their mark. In the end, the second overtime produced the same results and the Panthers finished with a tie. Still, the tie was important for Middlebury’s Nescac standings, as it secured a spot in the tournament.

“The race for a top-four finish remains very tight,” Kim said. “Looking ahead, we still need to persist in our efforts to score against our strongest opponents, so that will continue to be our focus as we head into the final two games of the regular season.”

This game gave an opportunity for seniors to reflect on their four years wearing the blue and whites of women’s soccer.

Maddison Morgan ’18, who has battled injuries for much of her time here, spewed positivity and optimism as she recounted the day.

“The emotions were definitely there, especially as a senior,” she said. “I was excited for my senior day game but also a bit sad — it just came t0o quickly! And while I wish the team could have gotten the win, Trinity was a really tough team and a tie means we stay in the same place.”

Midfielder Emma Shumway ’18 also commented on the emotions of the day.

“It was honestly a surreal experience. I kept thinking back to my freshman year senior day and how far away senior year felt. It still hasn’t sunk in that I’m over halfway through my final season of competitive soccer.

“My emotions were bittersweet during the game — I’m so grateful for having had so many years of healthy soccer and a college soccer experience shaped by such incredible teammates, but I don’t think I’ll ever truly feel ready to step off the field for good.

“I think a ticking clock is the best possible motivation so I look forward to giving 110 percent in every game and doing whatever I can to make my final season a positive experience for my teammates and myself. I definitely won’t be taking the joy soccer brings me for granted in the coming weeks.

“Senior day was important to me because it’s just a testament to how much we’ve put in and gotten out of Middlebury women’s soccer over the last four years,” Alissa Huntington ’18 said. “For me, it was less about the game and more about the speeches our teammates gave on the seniors afterwards, which was just another reminder for how thankful I am to be part of this team and program.”

The Panthers return to Nescac competition on Saturday, Oct. 21, and finish their regular season with a home game against Williams College on Tuesday, Oct. 24. Middlebury has the potential to host the Nescac tournament, a decision that depends on whether the Panthers take the next two or not.

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Alwang Records Fourth Shutout in Women’s Soccer Draw Against Trinity