Second-Half Run Lifts No. 4 Middlebury Over Springfield

Susanna Baker had five ground balls and four caused turnovers in Sunday's win.
Susanna Baker had five ground balls and four caused turnovers in Sunday's win.

Trailing 3-1 with 11:47 remaining in the second half, fourth-ranked Middlebury tallied the next six goals on its way to a 7-3 victory Sunday over Springfield on Stagg Field. The Panthers (2-0) return to NESCAC play when they travel to Connecticut College on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

In the low-scoring first half, a free-positon goal by Ann Mahoney gave Springfield a 1-0 lead with 18:06 remaining. Mahoney went from left to right across the crease, tucking a shoulder-high shot inside the right post past the reach of Middlebury goalie Julia Keith. The Panthers nearly tied the contest less than eight minutes later, but an attempt by Emma McDonagh on the break hit the left post and bounced away.

Middlebury knotted the game at 1-1 when Jenna McNicholas scored on a quick-stick shot with 6:25 on the clock. A player down, she darted in from the right on a pass from behind the cage from McDonagh. The visitors looked to grab the lead with under three minutes remaining, but a low shot by Emily Barnard on a breakaway was denied by Springfield goalie Brenna Keefe, leaving the game tied at halftime, 1-1. Middlebury held a 10-2 advantage in shots during the initial half.

After the break, Kate Sarnacki gave the hosts a one-goal lead just 1:13 into the second half as the Pride were a player down. Nearly seven minutes later, Shelby Corsano increased the Pride's advantage to 3-1 with a score at 22:05. The game remained that way until 11:47 left when the Panthers produced the decisive six-goal run, fueled by two goals from Georgia Carroll, as well as single tallies from Henley Hall, McDonagh, Hollis Perticone and Kirsten Murphy en route to the non-conference win.

Carroll led all players with two goals to go along with four ground balls. Hall, McDonagh, Perticone and Murphy each finished a goal, while McDonagh tallied two assists. Evie Keating picked up a team-best seven ground balls and had five caused turnovers, while Susanna Baker added five ground balls and four caused turnovers.

Mahoney, Sarnacki and Corsano each recorded a goal for Springfield, while Kayla Schroeher had an assist for the Pride. Abby Wylie ended her day with a game-best eight ground balls to go along with three caused turnovers. Taylor Kane and Kristen Steidler each caused five turnovers for the hosts, while Mahoney added four caused turnovers.

Keith improved to 2-0 in the crease for the Panthers, making three saves in the victory. Keefe (2-1) made 16 saves in goal for the Pride. Middlebury held a 30-9 advantage in shots and 35-26 edge in ground balls, while Springfield won eight of the 12 draw controls.