Field Hockey Forges Ahead

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Middlebury College Field Hockey

Middlebury College Field Hockey

Emma Stapleton

Emma Stapleton

Middlebury College Field Hockey

By CLAIRE MESSERSMITH

Not only did the Middlebury Field Hockey team blank both Trinity on Saturday, Oct. 14, and then Husson on Sunday, Oct. 15, but the Panthers have not allowed a goal in the last 245 minutes of game play. It was a big weekend.

“It feels really good going 2–0 two weekends in a row, especially because it’s good practice having double headers at this point in our season since we’re approaching playoffs,” Molly Freeman ’19 said. “We were able to adapt to the playing styles of both teams, while still playing our own game.

“The best opportunities for improvement come from playing good opponents,” team captain Lauren Schweppe ’18 said, to Freeman’s point. “Being in a league as competitive as the Nescac means that every game gives us a chance to test our skills, learn more about who we are as a team, and learn how we can keep improving our game going forward. We’re excited to play two great teams this coming week and look forward to continuing to learn and grow as a team.”

Middlebury, now ranked third nationally, picked up its sixth straight victory against Trinity, cruising past the Bantams 4–0. Marissa Baker ’20 one-timed a pass from Annie Leonard ’18 to first put the Panthers on the board, and Leonard herself put one away with eight minutes remaining in the first half.

Starting the next half up 2–0, a penalty corner directed into the back of the cage by Freeman gave Middlebury a 3–0 lead.

Three minutes later, Audrey Quirk ’18 put Trinity to rest with the fourth and final goal of the game.

Middlebury’s seventh straight victory came the next day, hosting Husson last Sunday, Oct. 15, while the Panthers cruised past even easier, winning 7–0. Annie Leonard had a goal and assist during the game, which propelled her to third place in career points and an impressive second place in career goals, with 67.

The Panthers put away six goals in the first half, Baker with the first, a minute into the game, followed by Leonard’s. Grace Jennings ’19 gave the team a 3–0 edge after a scramble in front of the net, marking her fourth of the season.

Julia Richards ’20 put three goals into the back of Husson’s cage before the first half ended.

Fourteen minutes into the second half, Amanda Bozorgi ’19 tallied her first career goal, lofting it over the goalie’s shoulder to seal the deal.

Middlebury held a 30–1 advantage in shots.

“Our defensive success comes from our focus in practice on full-team defense,” Schweppe said. “Our forwards and midfielders have been doing a great job of putting pressure on the ball all over the field, keeping our opponents out of our defensive zone. That, combined with defensive teamwork in the circle, backed by some great saves from our goalies, has kept the ball out of the goal.”

Middlebury continues its Nescac competition on Saturday, Oct. 21, in Lewiston, Maine, to take on Bates at 12 p.m.

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