Women’s Soccer: Panthers Coming in Hot

Caitlin+Magruder+%E2%80%9920+looks+for+a+way+to+pass+to+her+teammate%2C+Amanda+Dafonte+%E2%80%9919.+The+Panthers+achieved+a+win+against+Gordon+in+their+first+game+of+the+season.
Caitlin Magruder ’20 looks for a way to pass to her teammate, Amanda Dafonte ’19. The Panthers achieved a win against Gordon in their first game of the season.

Caitlin Magruder ’20 looks for a way to pass to her teammate, Amanda Dafonte ’19. The Panthers achieved a win against Gordon in their first game of the season.

BENJY RENTON

BENJY RENTON

Caitlin Magruder ’20 looks for a way to pass to her teammate, Amanda Dafonte ’19. The Panthers achieved a win against Gordon in their first game of the season.

By JENNY LANGERMAN

The women’s soccer team started off their 2018 season with a bang, pulling off a solid 5-1 win against Gordon College in their home opener on September 5. The Panthers came out strong from the beginning, kicking off the game with a goal from Sabrina Glaser ’20 within the first three minutes of play. Goals by Sara DiCenso ’19, Simone Ameer ’21, Ellie Greenberg ’20 and Leah Salzman ’21 followed in the second half to propel Middlebury’s win, rivaled only by a single goal by Gordon during the first half. 

Connecticut College and Roger Williams University both faced similar fates this past weekend, the former enduring a 2-0 loss on Saturday and the latter facing a 3-0 loss to the Panthers on Sunday. The Middlebury wins were spearheaded by strong plays from the defense and 11 saves from goalie Ursula Alwang ’20. Saturday’s game marked Alwang’s 10th career shutout.

These victories were no huge surprise for the Panthers, as they finished the 2017 season with 12 wins, four ties and only two losses — a winning record that placed them at the 18th overall spot in last year’s Division III women’s soccer rankings.

The team is hopeful that the coming season will continue to build upon last year’s success and are looking to extend their run in the NESCAC playoffs. This season will bring challenges, however, as the Panthers a team rebuild after graduating several key seniors last year.

“Last season we had a rock solid defense, anchored by senior captain Alissa Huntington,” head coach Peter Kim said. “With her graduation, we have had to reestablish our defensive core with a mix of returners and newcomers.”

Kim is confident that the team’s hard work, depth and effortless chemistry will make all the difference this season.

“We are returning the majority of the team and have bolstered the roster with first-year players,” Kim said. “We have a great mix of energy, quality and experience in this year’s team. The team was diligent about its offseason strength and conditioning work, so the players are prepared to play a high tempo game.” 

Heading into his 15th season as head coach of Middlebury women’s soccer, Kim’s sensible leadership is more evident than ever as his priorities and hopes for the team extend far beyond winning. 

“Ultimately, our goals remain the same: to be a close-knit family, to maintain a high team GPA, to foster a culture of gratitude – as evidenced by our commitment to community service, to play a beautiful and technical attacking style of play and to win championships,” Kim said. 

With clear chemistry, great leadership and a fighting spirit, the Panthers appear ready to bring the heat this fall.

Amanda Dafonte ’19 prepares to pass the ball during a game against Gordon.

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About the Photographer
BENJY RENTON, Senior Sports Editor
Benjy Renton ‘21 is a Sports Editor. He has previously served as arts and sciences editor, features editor and a staff writer. Renton’s academic interests include International and Global Studies, Chinese and Geography. During the summer of 2018 he studied at Middlebury’s new School of the Environment in China, where he focused on environmental migration...
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Women’s Soccer: Panthers Coming in Hot