#5 Middlebury Blanks Wesleyan

Gretchen McGrath netted a pair of goals in Sunday's win over Wesleyan.
Gretchen McGrath netted a pair of goals in Sunday's win over Wesleyan.

The fifth-ranked Middlebury women's soccer team blanked visiting Wesleyan 5-0 Sunday on Dragone Field. Middlebury (12-0-1, 7-0-1) continues conference play Saturday at 12:00 p.m. with its regular-season home finale against Bates, while Wesleyan (6-3-2, 3-2-2) is on the road Wednesday at Rhode Island College for a 6:00 p.m. start.

The Panthers got on the scoreboard first in the 12th minute. On the left sideline, Alex Barber threw a ball to Eliza Van Voorhis, who turned and lofted a shot over Wesleyan goalkeeper Zoe Cassels-Brown from 30 yards away. The tally was Van Voorhis' team-best sixth of the season.

Wesleyan's best chance of the opening half came in the 20th minute following a Middlebury hand ball just outside the penalty area, but a shot by Katie Stewart Frizzell went wide left.

Middlebury doubled its lead at the 41:21 mark. Eliza Robinson collected a loose ball in the middle of the pitch, sending a pass to Cate Shellenback, who lofted a shot from the right 10 yards away over the charging Cardinal goalie. The goal was Shellenback's second of the fall.

After the halftime break, Barber gave the Panthers a three-goal advantage, putting in a loose ball for her second of the season at 57:13. Gretchen McGrath put the hosts up 4-0 with a shot into the bottom-left corner, after her initial shot was blocked in the 61st minute. She added her second of the match at 77:35, following a great individual effort from the left corner.

The Cardinals best opportunity of the second half came in the 83rd minute when Elizabeth Vann rifled a shot from 25 yards out, but Middlebury goalie Eva Shaw caught the attempt to preserve the shutout.

Panther goalie Ursula Alwang improved to 10-0-1 with three saves in 69:43 of action, while Shaw played the final 20:17 with a stop. Cassels-Brown registered eight saves for the Cardinals.

Middlebury held a sizeable 23-7 advantage in shots, including a 14-1 edge in the second half, but Wesleyan held a 3-2 edge in corner kicks.