The Middlebury College field hockey team will make its 16th-consecutive and 19th overall appearance in the NCAA Tournament when it hosts a regional on November 10-11 on Kohn Field. First-round games take place on Wednesday with Keene State hosting SUNY New Paltz and The College of New Jersey entertaining Keystone. The Panthers will play the Keene State/SUNY New Paltz winner on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., while Vassar will battle the TCNJ/Keystone winner in the day's second contest at 2:00 p.m.. The victors meet on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a trip to the final four on the line.
Middlebury enters the weekend with an overall record of 37-16 in NCAA Tournament play. The Panthers won the NCAA title in 1998, 2015 and 2017, while advancing to the finals in 2003, 2004, 2007 and 2011.
Middlebury earned its way into the NCAA Tournament with the NESCAC's automatic bid after claiming the league title for the sixth time on Sunday over fourth-ranked Tufts, 1-0. The Panthers enter the tournament with a 17-1, with their only loss coming 16th-ranked Williams. Entering the NCAA Tournament, the Panthers rank ninth in Division III in both scoring average (4.22 goals per game) and eighth in scoring margin (3.27).
Head coach Katharine DeLorenzo is now in her 18th year, owning a record of 283-61 (.822) at Middlebury and 378-125-2 (.750) overall entering the weekend. She was tabbed as the 2018 NESCAC Coach of the Year, making the second-straight year she has earned that honor.
Senior captain Grace Jennings, along with sophomores Erin Nicholas and Danielle Brown lead the offense, as all three players have reached double figures in goals. Nicholas, the 2018 NESCAC Player of the Year, tops the Panthers in points (33), goals (12) and assists (9) and has recorded points in 15 of the team's 18 games this season. She also has three game-winning goals, which is tied for second on the team.
Jennings is a four-time All-NESCAC honoree and ranks second on the squad with 11 goals and 27 points. She has registered points in 11 contests this fall, with a season-best five in the NESCAC Quarterfinals with two goals and an assist against Colby. Jennings has been a steady contributor during her career, posting 120 points (38-44-120). The forward also ranks third on the program's all-time list for assists.
Brown has played in all 18 games this season, scoring at least once in half of those contests. She played a key role in the team winning its first 14 games, scoring at least once in eight of those contests.
Sophomore midfielder Isabel Chandler has been a versatile performer for the Panthers, starting all 18 contests. She is one of the players handling inserts on penalty corners and has contributed offensively with three goals and four assists.
Middlebury's defense has been stellar all season, led by juniors Olivia Green and Sophia Peluso, along with sophomores Meg Fearey and Nicholas. The unit has helped the team boast a goals against average of less one a game with nine shutouts and have allowed one goal or less on 14 occasions.
Senior goalie Megan Collins (17-1) has started all 18 games this season, ranking fourth in the NESCAC with a 0.95 goals against average and is third with six shutouts. She enters the NCAA Tournament having recorded shutouts in each of her last two games.
2018 NCAA Field Hockey Regional
Wednesday, November 7
SUNY New Paltz (12-7) at Keene State (17-6) – 3:00 p.m.
Keystone (14-4) at TCNJ (14-4) – 6:00 p.m.
Saturday, November 10 – hosted by Middlebury
SUNY New Paltz/Keene State winner vs. Middlebury (17-1) – 11:00 a.m.
Keystone/TCNJ winner vs. Vassar (18-1) – 2:00 p.m.
Sunday, November 11 – hosted by Middlebury
Regional Final – 1:00 p.m.