Middlebury Pulls Away From UNE Using Fourth-Quarter Run

Katie George tallied three goals and an assist on Sunday.
Katie George tallied three goals and an assist on Sunday.

Middlebury scored three goals in a span of 6:20 during Sunday's fourth quarter, turning a tight 2-1 game into a 5-1 victory over the University of New England (1-3) on the UNE Blue Bolt Field. The top-ranked Panthers (3-0) return to action on Saturday when they travel to No. 15 Bowdoin for an 11:00 a.m. NESCAC contest.

Middlebury got on the scoreboard 6:01 into the game when Danielle Brown tipped in a hard pass by Katie George on the doorstep. The Nor'easters turned up the pressure after the goal, earning back-to-back penalty corners, but were unable to level the score.

Ahead 1-0 with 2:36 remaining in the second, Middlebury's Audrey Lazar doubled the Panther advantage, redirecting a backhanded rising pass from Erin Nicholas.  

The Panthers best scoring chance in the third quarter came with 4:30 left when Marissa Baker ripped a shot from eight yards away on the right that UNE goalie Liz Sargent kicked away with her right pad. The visitors took all eight shots in the stanza.

The Nor'easters cut the deficit in half less than a minute into the fourth quarter on a penalty corner. Kate Lindmark collected a pass on the left post of the goal, slipping it under the pads of Middlebury goalie Grace Harlan. The tally was the first allowed this season by the Panther defense and snaps a scoreless streak of nearly 241 minutes which dates back to the 2018 NCAA Semifinal game against Rowan.

The Panthers quickly turned the momentum back in their favor, as George recorded her first career hat trick in a span of just 6:20. Falling to the ground, George tipped in a shot by Baker at the 47:03 mark, before working a give-and-go 1:28 later with Brown for a 4-1 lead. Her third goal came on a penalty corner, rifling a low shot from the left past Sargent for the final 5-1 score.

Middlebury finished the game with a 26-6 advantage in shots, while the Nor'easters held a 5-3 edge in penalty corners. Harlan concluded with a pair of saves to improve to 3-0 for the Panthers, while Sargent mads 12 stops for UNE.