A goal in the third minute by Hamilton's Maddie Dale lifted the Continentals to a 1-0 victory Saturday over Middlebury in the NESCAC Quarterfinals. The sixth-seeded Continentals advance to the league's semifinals where they will face fourth-seeded Tufts at Williams next Saturday, while the Ephs will battle seventh-seeded Amherst. The winners meet on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. for the NESCAC Championship.
The Continentals tallied the lone goal of the match at the 2:28 mark following a failed clearing attempt by Middlebury. Dale gathered the ball just outside of the penalty box, took one dribble to her right and blasted a shot toward the left post. The attempt clanged off the post, bouncing all the way across the goal mouth before crossing the line for Dale's first score of the season.
The match remained that way and in the 32nd minute, the Panthers produced their best opportunity of the opening half. Virginia Charman ripped a shot from the right 15 yards away toward the lower-right corner, before Hamilton goalie Emily Dumont made a diving save to her left.
Following the halftime break with Hamilton ahead 1-0, Middlebury had a scoring chance just seconds into the stanza when Charman headed a ball off a cross into the arms of Dumont.
The Continentals nearly doubled their lead in the 67th minute when Katja Dunlap laced a shot from 18 yards toward the upper-left corner that Middlebury goalie Ursula Alwang punched just over the crossbar.
The hosts had one final chance in the waning seconds following a foul, but a heading attempt from Clare Robinson went wide to the right.
Middlebury finished with a 17-9 advantage in shots. Alwang finished with four saves for the Panthers, while Dumont made seven stops for Hamilton.