Panthers Collect 25th-Straight Home Victory

Grace Murphy tallied a goal in the victory over Hamilton.
Grace Murphy tallied a goal in the victory over Hamilton.

Middlebury remained perfect on the season, recording a 5-1 home NESCAC victory Saturday over Hamilton. The win extended the team's overall winning streak to 13 games, while bumping its home-winning streak to 25 contests dating back to the 2017 season. The top-ranked Panthers (6-0, 3-0) return to the field on Tuesday, hosting Skidmore at 6:30 p.m., while the Continentals (2-3, 1-2) head to William Smith for a 7:00 p.m. start on Wednesday.

Middlebury had the first quality scoring chance of the game just over two minutes into the contest, as Emma Johns centered the ball to the left post, where Danielle Brown poked a shot wide of the pipe. The hosts broke through for the game's initial score, when Marissa Baker carried the ball to the end line on the right side. Baker directed a pass to the goalmouth to Kelly Coyle, who knocked in her third tally of the season with 2:52 left in the quarter.

In the second stanza, the hosts pressed with three penalty corners in a span of 25 seconds, but Hamilton held its ground. Middlebury increased its advantage to a pair of goals with 7:01 on the clock on a tally by Erin Nicholas. She eluded several Continentals defenders, before cutting to the middle of the circle and using a backhand sweep for a score.

The hosts made it a 3-0 contest when Nicholas recorded her second marker of the game with 1:14 expired in the third frame. Hamilton goalie Maggie Reville kept the difference at three, making a pad save on Isabel Chandler on a blast from the top of the arc, before denying Baker with a stick save moments later.

After an early scoring chance by Hamilton's Lizzie Clark early in the final quarter, the Continentals broke through for their lone score 34 seconds later. Clark place a long hit from the right side inside the arc, where Tracey Stafford redirected the pass into the upper-left corner of the cage. Grace Murphy flipped in a shot from the right side for the Panthers with 7:48 remaining, while Hannah Sullivan netted her first collegiate goal in the waning seconds to make it a 5-1 final.

Middlebury goalie Grace Harlan made one save to improve to 6-0 on the season, while Reville made a season-high 10 for the Continentals.

The hosts held a sizable 23-5 edge in shots and had 14 of the game's 17 penalty corners. Through six games this fall, Middlebury has outscored the opposition 28-2.