Field Hockey Clinches #1 NESCAC Seed Before Surprising Loss Against Williams

By CAROLINE BARTLETT

BENJY RENTON
Erin Nicholas ’21 faces a Bates defender during Homecoming Weekend. Nicholas was responsible for scoring both of the team’s two goals during Tuesday’s match against Williams.

With a 3-0 win over Bates on Saturday, Middlebury field hockey clinched the top seed heading into NESCACs next weekend, giving them home-field advantage for the tournament. Sophomore Isabel Chandler scored the first goal of the game, when after just 46 seconds of play she tipped in a hard shot by Marissa Baker ’20. The Panthers took a 2-0 lead at 14:11, when Molly Freeman ’19 found the back of the goal for the eighth time this season. Toward the end of the game, sophomore Erin Nicholas marked another goal to secure the 3-0 win for the Panthers. Middlebury’s defense had a great performance, allowing just four shots total. Of those, only two were on net, and goalie Meg Collins ’18.5 was there to block all the visiting Bobcats’ shots. The homecoming match was the 30th straight win for the Panthers. 

“Alumni weekend is always one of my favorite weekends of the fall,” Amanda Bozorgi ’19 said. “It’s so nice to catch up with the field hockey alumni and see the underclassmen on the team get to know and bond with the MCFH women that were here before them.” 

MICHAEL BORENSTEIN/THE MIDDLEBURY CAMPUS
Seniors on the field hockey team pose with former teammates during Homecoming.

On Sunday morning, the alumni battled it out against current players on Peter Kohn Field, as is tradition. 

“The annual alumni game is probably the best part of homecoming, especially because our goalies get to try out their stick skills, and Olivia Green [’20] and Sophia Peluso [’20] get to suit up in pads,” Bozorgi said of the weekend.

On Tuesday, Oct. 23, the team travelled to Williams for their final game of the regular season. The hosts came on strong, scoring all four of their goals in the first half. Middlebury fought hard to regain control of the game, but only managed to mark two goals, both scored by sophomore Erin Nicholas. Collins walked away with two saves.

Despite the stumble, the team is excited for playoffs to start on Saturday, playing the number eight seed, Colby, at home at 1 p.m. 

“Being number one has a lot of pressure,” Grace Jennings ’19 explained. “But pressure is definitely a privilege that we have earned and one we want to keep. Our opponents will be very good no matter what their record says, and the most important thing to remember now is that every game counts. The score will always be 0-0 at the beginning of the game, and it’s our job to simply get numbers on our side and keep theirs at 0.”

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Field Hockey Clinches #1 NESCAC Seed Before Surprising Loss Against Williams