Top-Ranked Middlebury Blanks Conn. College In NESCAC Opener

Isabel Chandler contributed a goal in Saturday's road triumph at Conn. College.
Isabel Chandler contributed a goal in Saturday's road triumph at Conn. College.

The top-ranked Middlebury field hockey team opened NESCAC play with a solid 4-0 shutout victory Saturday at Connecticut College. The Panthers (2-0, 1-0) return to action Sunday, hosting the University of New England for their home opener on Kohn Field at 12:00 p.m.

Middlebury opened the scoring with 20:27 expired in the first half, when Danielle Brown found a loose ball in front of the Camel cage. The Panther moved to her right and slid a low shot inside the post. The visitors bumped the margin to 2-0 less than eight minutes later when Grace Murphy's high shot hit Camel goalie Andi McGraw and dropped behind her into the back of the net.

Isabel Chandler tacked on a late goal for Middlebury with 2:26 showing on the first-half clock, tucking home a rebound on a shot by Amanda Bozorgi for a 3-0 cushion.

The visitors accounted for the only score in the final 35 minutes when Grace Jennings notched her team-leading third of the year. With Middlebury applying the pressure at the front of the Camel net, Jennings jammed in a rebound after the previous two chances were turned away by new Camel goalie Jackie Mountford.

Between the pipes for the Panthers, Megan Collins made three saves for her first career shutout, while Mountford (eight) and McGraw (four) combined for a dozen stops for the hosts.

Middlebury, which has outscored the opposition 14-0 through two games this season, carried play throughout with a 26-9 edge in shots and 16-2 advantage in penalty corners.