The Middlebury field hockey team suffered its first setback of the season, as visiting Hamilton held off the Panthers 3-2 in NESCAC action Sunday on Kohn Field. Fifth-ranked Middlebury (3-1, 2-1) continues conference play at 11:00 a.m. Saturday with a road game against Bowdoin, while the 15th-ranked Continentals (4-1, 3-0) host Utica Tuesday at 5:30 p.m.
The visitors opened the scoring 12:16 into the game when Margaret Rivera capitalized on penalty stroke, tucking a shot inside the left post. The goal came seconds after Middlebury's Lauren Schweppe made a defensive save. Hamilton doubled its lead 1:37 later when Tatiana Bradley collected a loose ball in front of the Panther cage and directed a shot into the left side of the cage.
The Panthers got onto the scoreboard with 11:07 left in the first stanza when Emma Johns poked in a rebound after Hamilton's Cat Donahue had just made a defensive save.
In the second half, each team scored in the final 10 minutes with the Continentals getting an insurance goal with 7:11 on the clock. Lizzie Clark crossed the ball into the arc and Bradley quickly settled the pass and netted her second goal of the contest, making the score 3-1.
Middlebury made it a one-goal game with 1:18 remaining when Audrey Quirk tipped in a pass from Molly Freeman, closing the gap to 3-2. Hamilton prevented the hosts from getting the equalizer, running out the remaining time following the restart.
Panther goalie Megan Collins made a career-high seven saves, while Julia Booth had four for the Continentals. Hamilton held a 14-10 edge in shots and Middlebury had a 10-5 advantage in penalty corners.