Women’s Soccer Scores Fourth NESCAC Championship in History

By JENNY LANGERMAN

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The women’s soccer team is all smiles after winning the NESCAC Championship on Nov. 4.

After an incredible season, the Panthers’ visible hard work and fighting spirit culminated in the ultimate reward: NESCAC champs. Middlebury women’s soccer held a 13-1-1 record heading into playoffs last week — a tremendous record unmatched in Middlebury women’s soccer history.

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Women’s soccer team members celebrate their NESCAC championship.

A win against the Bowdoin Bears in the first round of playoffs propelled the Panthers into the NESCAC championship tournament for the first time since 2013. Middlebury faced Amherst and Williams, respectively, both at Williams.

Though Middlebury was ultimately able to pull out a win in their first matchup of the weekend in the semifinals against Amherst, it was no easy feat. A goal from Amherst was matched by Middlebury’s Olivia Miller ’20 on a long shot to tie it up. A lack of further action set the teams into double overtime, then penalty kicks. 

After Amherst scored twice, Magnolia Moskun ’21.5 and Amanda Dafonte ’19 each hit their shots to tie the shot count up at 2-2. A clutch save from Middlebury’s Eva Shaw ’20 gave the Panthers the edge and a goal from Sarah DiCenso ’19 in the seventh round put the Panthers in the lead. A final save from Shaw sealed the deal, as the Panthers clinched a spot in the NESCAC championship.  

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Clare Robinson ’19 and Virginia Charman ’20 run to celebrate with the rest of the team.

Middlebury, ranked fifth, faced second-seeded Williams in the finals — a team responsible for the Panthers’ only loss this season, just two weeks earlier. Middlebury’s Ellie Greenberg ’20 scored the only goal of the game, spearheading the Panthers to a championship shutout.

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Ellie Greenberg ’20 rejoices after scoring the only goal of the game against the Bowdoin Bears.

This NESCAC championship marks the fourth ever for Middlebury (previous championships coming from the 2000, 2006 and 2013 seasons), the last also coming from a win over Williams. 

With this title, the Panthers receive an automatic bid to the NCAA tournament where they will try to keep the drive alive. 

 

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