Top-Ranked Middlebury Eases Past Visiting Castleton

Kelly Coyle scored a goal and had an assist in Wednesday's win.
Kelly Coyle scored a goal and had an assist in Wednesday's win.

Middlebury had little trouble getting past Castleton (1-2) in its season-opener, handing the Spartans an 8-0 loss Wednesday on Kohn Field. The two-time defending NCAA Champions return to action on Saturday with their NESCAC opener at Wesleyan beginning at 11:00 a.m.

Erin Nicholas scored with 2:27 left in the opening quarter to get the hosts on the scoreboard, before Katie George doubled the Panther lead 41 seconds later inside the left post for her first collegiate goal. The lead grew to 3-0 with 7:46 remaining in the second quarter when Audrey Lazar tucked an attempt inside the right post for her initial collegiate score. She tallied her second of the game on a rebound, following a shot by Nicholas. Isabel Chandler recorded the final goal of the first half, poking in a rebound for a 5-0 lead.

Near the midway point of the third quarter, Alison Denby fired a shot from the right side into the back of the net for a 6-0 advantage. The score remained that way until the fourth quarter when Lazar finished her hat trick off a nifty pass from Kelly Coyle, before Coyle capped the scoring with 22.1 seconds remaining when she tipped in a rebound for the 8-0 final.

Middlebury held a 34-0 shots advantage in the game and led 6-0 in penalty corners.

Panther goalkeeper Grace Harlan was not forced to make a save to earn a shutout during her first career start. Hope Brown tallied nine saves spanning the first three quarters, while Tashia Pashby-Rockwood made six saves on eight shots in the final stanza.

With the victory, the Panthers have won 38 of their last 39 contests, increasing their home-game winning streak to 24-straight games dating back to the 2017 season.