The Middlebury College women's soccer team continues its 11th NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend when it hosts an NCAA Sectional. The Panthers will take on Swarthmore at 11:00 a.m. on November 17, while Hardin-Simmons (Texas) plays Misericordia (Pa.) in the other semifinal contest at 1:30 p.m. The winners will meet in a sectional final on Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a trip to the final four on the line.
Middlebury, which earned an automatic bid after winning its fourth NESCAC Championship, advanced to this weekend behind a 4-1 victory in the opening round over the University of Maine at Farmington on Saturday, followed by a 0-0 tie with Ithaca the next day. The Panthers moved on via a 3-0 tally in penalty kicks over the Bombers.
Middlebury enters the weekend with an overall record of 19-10-1 in NCAA Tournament play. The Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals in 1997 and 2011, earning a trip to the final four in 2013. A year ago, the team earned a 1-0 victory in the opening round before falling to MIT the next day.
Head coach Peter Kim is now in his 15th season with the Panthers, owning a career record of 179-61-31 (.718) and is the program's all-time leader in victories. He was recently tabbed as the 2018 NESCAC Coach of the Year, marking the sixth time in his career he has garnered the league's top honor.
The Panthers boast a 16-1-3 record, beginning the season with a 14-match unbeaten streak (13-0-1) with seven shutouts during that stretch. The unbeaten mark was the longest to start a season in the program's history. Middlebury's lone setback came by a 1-0 score on the road at second-ranked Williams in the regular-season finale, before the Panthers knocked off the Ephs in the NESCAC Championship by the same score.
A total of 15 different players have scored in a very balanced Middlebury attack this season, with the Panthers averaging 2.35 goals per game. The Panthers have seen 27 different players in the starting lineup over the course of the year.
Sophomore Eliza Van Voorhis has produced eight goals this fall and 19 points to lead the Panthers, as her goal total is seventh in the NESCAC. The forward has three game-winning goals scores, tying her atop the team with junior Sabrina Glaser. The Second-Team All-NESCAC selection found the back of the net twice in a conference road win at Trinity, while recording a goal and an assist at Colby. She also tallied a score during the win on Saturday over Maine Farmington.
Glaser (6-2-14) has scored six goals in five different matches, including a two-goal effort in a home win over Amherst. The midfielder also added a game-winning tally a week later in a 3-1 NESCAC home victory over Bowdoin. She assisted in Middlebury's initial goal on Saturday.
Sophomore Eliza Robinson's seven assists pace the team and are tied atop the NESCAC rankings, while she owns five goals for 17 points. Robinson posted a season-high four points with a goal and two assists in Saturday's NCAA win over the Beavers, assisting on the game-winning tally. The midfielder also scored the lone goal during Middlebury's NESCAC Quarterfinal win at home over Bowdoin.
Sophomore Leah Salzman has tallied five goals and 11 points in 11 matches played this season. At the end of September, the forward recorded back-to-back game-winning scores in triumphs over Hamilton and Colby. Classmate Olivia Miller (3-4-10) has scored a goal in two of the last four matches for the Panthers, including the game-winning score against Maine Farmington.
Junior Ellie Greenberg (4-1-9) also aids the offense for the Panthers. The forward scored in four separate matches this fall, posting the game-winning goal during the NESCAC Championship against Williams.
The Panther defense has posted 10 shutouts and allowed just 10 goals as a unit this fall, ranking second in the NESCAC yielding 0.48 goals per match. Middlebury didn't give up more than one goal in any contest this season.
Seniors Janie DeVito and Amanda Dafonte along with sophomore Isabelle Hartnett are constants in the Panther backfield. DeVito, a First-Team All-NESCAC selection, is a four-year starter for Middlebury, while Dafonte, a Second-Team All-NESCAC honoree, is a two-year starter and has logged three assists this fall. Hartnett has started all 19 matches in which she has played this season.
Senior Clare Robinson, a First-Team All-NESCAC recipient, is a defensive midfielder and a two-year starter. She scored the game-winning goal in Middlebury's win at Trinity, while posting an assist during the home victory over Bates.
In goal, junior Ursula Alwang is a Second-Team All-NESCAC selection who ranks second in the league and 16th nationally with an .892 save percentage, while her 0.44 goals against average is also second in the conference. Alwang's 12 wins (12-0-3) sit atop the league ranks. She has recorded six solo shutouts this season, while sharing three. Classmate Eva Shaw started four matches this fall, including three in late October. In the NESCAC Semifinal contest against Amherst, she came off the bench during penalty kicks with a pair of saves to send the Panthers into the NESCAC Championship. During the NCAA Regional Final against Ithaca, she again came off the bench in the same situation and saved all three attempts by the Bombers.
2018 NCAA Women's Soccer Regional
Saturday, November 17 – hosted by Middlebury
Swarthmore (17-2-2) at Middlebury (16-1-3) – 11:00 a.m.
Hardin-Simmons (Texas) (18-1-1) vs. Misericordia (Pa.) (17-2-1) – 1:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 18 – hosted by Middlebury
Regional Final – 1:00 p.m.