Top-ranked Middlebury scored five times in the second half, overcoming a one-goal deficit at the intermission for a 5-1 triumph Wednesday at Skidmore (3-5). The Panthers (8-0) return to NESCAC action Saturday, heading to Colby for a 12:00 p.m. start.
Middlebury had quality scoring opportunities to get on the scoreboard twice with just under 15 minutes expired in the first half. Grace Jennings carried the ball toward the Thoroughbred net, but her shot was turned aside by Skidmore goalie Elizabeth Coughlin. Moments later, Coughlin kicked out a low shot by Marissa Baker after the play originated off a penalty corner.
The hosts quickly countered, taking advantage of a penalty corner of its own the next time down the field. After taking the insert, Marissa Folts moved inside the circle and took a shot that was redirected into the cage by Mariah Redler with 12:35 left before the break. The goal marked only the second time this season Middlebury has yielded a score in the opening 35 minutes of a game.
The Panthers quickly tied the contest early in the second stanza, as Molly Freeman cashed in a short pass from Erin Nicholas with 1:23 expired. The visitors took their first lead of the game 1:24 later when Emma Johns knocked in an assist from Isabel Chandler while camped out at the left post.
Middlebury increased the margin to 3-1 with 20:59 on the clock, as Danielle Brown chipped a shot by Coughlin for her seventh tally of the fall. The Panthers made it a three-goal cushion seven minutes later when Jennings caused a turnover at midfield, used her speed to create a breakaway, before recording her team-leading eighth goal of the season. Erin Hogan capped the scoring on a penalty stroke with 7:53 showing on the clock for her first collegiate tally.
In goal for the Panthers, Megan Collins earned her eighth win of the season, while Coughlin made 13 saves in 56 minutes and Jess Gaetgens collected two in relief.
Middlebury boasted decisive advantages in both shots (25-1) and penalty corners (16-1). The game marked the seventh time in eight games the Panthers have scored at least four goals.