The Middlebury field hockey team tallied three goals in each half on its way to a 6-1 NESCAC victory over Colby on Saturday at Kohn Field. Seventh-ranked Middlebury (6-2, 4-1) jumps out of conference play when it hosts Rensselaer on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m., while the Mules (5-2, 2-2) entertain Southern Maine on Wednesday at 6:00 p.m.
The hosts got on the board early with a pair of scores just 10 seconds apart. Following an initial shot that was saved by Colby goalie Riley Whitmyer, the ensuing rebound came to the stick of Audrey Quirk who tapped it in for her third score of the season. Seconds later, Middlebury gained control and worked the ball into the circle. Grace Jennings drove toward the net, sending a cross to the stick of Marissa Baker who redirected the shot into the cage for her second goal of the year.
Colby's best chance of the opening half came in the 12th minute. The Mules had a breakaway opportunity, but Middlebury goalie Abby Furdak came charging out of her crease with two Colby players closing toward her and forced Georgia Cassidy's attempt just wide.
The Panthers increased their lead to 3-0 at 20:41 when Annie Leonard lofted a reverse sweep over the head of Whitmyer for her fifth of the season and 62nd of her career.
After the halftime break, the Panthers scored a trio of goals in a span of 9:34. Erin Nicholas tapped in a rebound at 42:45, Lauren Schweppe blasted a shot from the top of the circle on a penalty corner at 44:16 and Nicholas tapped in a rebound at 52:19 for her fourth of the season.
The Mules tallied their goal on a penalty stroke at the 57:59 mark when Cassidy lifted a high, hard shot inside the left post just out of Furdak's reach for her eighth tally of the fall.
Furdak made a career-high nine saves for the Panthers, while Whitmyer tallied 13 stops for the Mules. Middlebury held a 20-14 edge in shots, while the Mules earned a narrow 7-6 advantage in penalty corners.