#1 Panthers Surge Past Colby, 4-1

Julia Richards had the game-winning goal against Colby.
Julia Richards had the game-winning goal against Colby.

Top-ranked Middlebury field hockey team tallied four times in the second half, rallying for a 4-1 road NESCAC win Saturday at Colby, extending its winning streak to 25-straight games. The Panthers (9-0, 5-0) are idle until next Saturday, hosting third-ranked Tufts at 1:00 p.m.

Colby (4-4, 1-4) made the most of its only shot on goal of the opening half, as Merel van Gijzen converted off a penalty corner an even six minutes into the game. Middlebury pressed for the equalizer, but was denied on several occasions by Mule keeper Riley Whitmyer. Midway through the stanza, the Panthers peppered Whitmyer with consecutive shots from Erin Nicholas, Marissa Baker and Isabel Chandler, but each time the Colby goalie came up with the stop.

The start of the second 35 minutes saw Middlebury rewarded for its offensive pressure, as Baker knocked in a short pass from Danielle Brown to tie the contest with 1:32 expired. Julia Richards gave the visitors a 2-1 lead, tapping in her second goal of the season at the right post 13:27 into the period.

Middlebury keeper Megan Collins made a big save just a little later, denying Myri Skodock's turnaround shot from point-blank range. The save by Collins came only 1:19 after the Panthers had taken the lead.

The guests added two late goals in the final five minutes of the contest. Nicholas carried the ball into the arc after a penalty corner, lacing a shot from the right side for a 3-1 lead with 4:56 showing on the clock. Brown capped the scoring just over three minutes later, poking in a loose ball after Nicholas sent a pass into the circle. The tally was Brown's eighth of the season, tying her for the team lead.

Middlebury finished with a 20-4 edge in shots, as Collins ended the day with three saves, while Whitmyer finished with 11 saves.