WINTER SPORTS RECAPS

Women’s hockey tops No. 1 Plattsburgh in Panther/Cardinal Classic

BY MAX PADILLA

Women’s hockey remains undefeated as the team enters its third week of the season. The Panthers tied Amherst, 1–1, on Friday, Nov. 22 before shutting out the Mammoths the following day, 2–0. Middlebury repeated the pattern this past weekend during the Panther/Cardinal Classic, tying Adrian 1–1 on Saturday, Nov. 30 and triumphing over top-ranked Plattsburgh State, 2–1, on Sunday, Dec. 1.

“We focus a lot on having a strong defensive zone no matter what team we play and that was definitely a huge factor in the win this weekend,” Sidney Porter ’20 said. “We knew it wasn’t going to be easy going into it and that we had to work as hard as we could from start to finish which I think set us up for a successful outcome.”

The Panthers will face off against Utica this Saturday, Dec. 7 at Kenyon Arena. Things look good for the Panthers as they head into this game, as they’ve beat the Moose in the last three games the two have played. 

Men’s puck successful in NESCAC road trip, falls in PrimeLink Championship

BY BLAISE SIEFER

The Middlebury men’s hockey team are quickly gaining momentum this season, winning three of their past four games. The Panthers now boast a 4–2–0 record, good for third in the NESCAC. 

Men’s hockey swept their first away trip of the season on Friday, Nov. 22 and Saturday, Nov. 23, defeating Tufts, 2–1, and Connecticut College, 5–2. Antoine Belisle ’23 netted a goal in each, notching the first two goals of his collegiate career.

This past weekend, Middlebury headed north to Plattsburgh State, competing in the 22nd annual PrimeLink Great Northern ShootOut. The Panthers started the weekend hot, defeating top-seeded Norwich, 2–1 (OT) in the semi-finals. Entering this matchup, Norwich was one of four teams remaining in Division 3 with a perfect record. Zach Shapiro ’22 delivered the winning blow just under two minutes into overtime, slapping in a loose puck following a scramble in front of the Norwich net. With the win, the Panthers booked their ticket to the tournament final the next day.

Despite their recent success, men’s hockey failed to extend their winning streak to five on Sunday, falling to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, 4–3.

Middlebury will hit the road again this weekend, facing off against Amherst on Friday and Hamilton on Saturday. Games times are scheduled for 7 p.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.

Women’s hoops wins narrowly against Castleton and Cabrini

BY RAIN JI

After winning its first five games of the season, women’s basketball has proven itself to continue its success from last season. 

“We are playing great team basketball,” Captain Kira Waldman ’20 said. “I am excited to follow this momentum and continue to show up with energy, effort and enthusiasm.” 

On Nov. 23, Middlebury defeated the Skidmore Thoroughbreds in a convincing 74–59 victory. The Panthers fought a close battle in the first quarter, having been outscored by the Throroughbreds 16–17, but they managed to build a lead by halftime when the score was 33–28. Middlebury then extended its lead in the third quarter to a comfortable 15 points. After the last quarter, the game was settled at 74–59, Middlebury. The win wouldn’t have been possible without Betsy Knox ’20, who scored a career-high 23 points.

Middlebury then fought hard against Castleton on Nov. 26 and won the game in overtime, 64–60. Captain Maya Davis ’20 proved to be an offensive threat, having scored 21 points. The NESCAC weekly release cited her outstanding performance during the game and she was also selected as the NESCAC Player of the Week. 

On Nov. 30, the Panthers battled in another nail-biter when it faced Cabrini. Middlebury was down 58–59 with just 46 seconds remaining in the game, but it managed to regain the lead at 60–59 thanks to a pair of successful free throws by Knox. The Panthers then forced a key turnover and padded their lead to six points with more clutch foul shots by Davis, Knox and Gianna Palli ’23.

The team will play Colby-Sawyer on Saturday, Dec. 7 at 2:00 p.m. 

Fifth-ranked men’s basketball routs Endicott, improves to 7-0

BY MICHAEL SEGEL

On Sunday, Dec. 1 men’s basketball improved to 7-0 with a 98-78 rout of Endicott, fueled by a huge second half where they outscored their opponents 54-28.

Endicott held a six-point lead at the half, but Midd turned the game into a blowout, with a 25-8 run and a subsequent 11-0 run.

Jack Farrell ’21 led the Panthers with a career high 31 points, along with seven rebounds, four assists and four steals. Griffin Kornaker ’21, Max Bosco ’21, and Tommy Eastman ’21 each added 14 points (Eastman also providing 13 rebounds), and Perry DeLorenzo ’20 was a perfect four-for-four from beyond the three point line to give himself 12.  

The big differences in this one were bench points and defense. Middlebury shot a clean 50% on field goals while holding Endicott to a slim 35.8%. Midd scored 32 points from the bench whereas Endicott had only 18.

It was the end of a 5-0 road trip for Middlebury, who will come home to take on New England College at 5:00 p.m. on Friday, Dec. 6 before getting back on the road again to face Stevens on Sunday, Dec. 8. 

Men’s and Women’s XC tackles NCAA Championships

BY JORDAN HOWELL

The Cross Country season came to a close when the Panthers ran in the NCAA Championships on Nov. 23. The men ended in 29nd place, while the women ended in 15th place.

The men were beaten out by first place Pomona-Pitzer. Key contributors for the Panthers included Theo Henderson ’20, who finished 34th with a time of 24:55.1. Next, there was Henry Fleming ’20 whose time of 25:25.6 placed him in 93rd place.

“Obviously the team was a little bit disappointed with our result,” said Zander Kessler ’22, when asked about the men’s performance. “I’d like to thank the best captains ever, Henry Fleming and Theo Henderson for leading an otherwise young team through an awesome season. We’ll be back next year on a revenge tour. It was awesome to see Theo get all American in his final race.”

The women’s squad was beaten out by first place Johns Hopkins. Crucial members for the women included Cassie Kearney ’22, who captured 26th place with a time of 22:01.0. Talia Ruxin ’20 had a time of 22:30.3 which netted her sixtieth place.

“We were very pleased with our performance at the NCAA Championships. Going into nationals we were ranked 22 out of 32 teams that qualified for NCAAs, but we ended up placing 15th,” said Phoebe Colvin-Oehmig ’21. “The team dynamic was incredible this year. We’re excited to carry this energy into next season!”

Overall, the Panthers had an exciting season filled with many impressive performances, especially by Cassie Kearney ’22, who recently earned All-American accolades for the second year in a row. 

Clearly, the Panthers can’t wait to come out and compete again next season.