Middlebury scored three times in the game's final 5:49 to pick up a 6-4 road win over second-ranked The College of New Jersey on Monday night at Lions Stadium. The fifth-ranked Panthers return to action on Wednesday with a contest at #3 Franklin & Marshall.
TCNJ took a 1-0 lead at the 17:13 mark of the first half on a tally from Allie Gorman. The lead doubled with 5:14 remaining when Emily Kratz found the back of the net for a 2-0 advantage.
Middlebury got on the board with just four seconds left in the half when Kate Zecca converted a free-position attempt for her third goal of the year.
The Lions made it a two-goal game 2:12 into the second session on a goal from Kathleen Jaeger. Just 2:27 later, Middlebury's Mary O'Connell pulled her team within one at 3-2 with an assist from Georgia Carroll.
The Lions again made it a two-goal game when Alex Fitzpatrick was successful on a free-position attempt at the 16:06 mark of the second half. The Panthers again answered, this time it was Emma McDonagh converting a pass from Hollis Perticone for her 12th tally of the season.
O'Connell netted her second of the game with 5:49 remaining, knotting the contest at 4-4 when she scored after a feed from Zecca.
Middlebury took its first lead of the game 3:15 later on the third of the game from O'Connell, who converted a free-position attempt. The point was her NESCAC-leading 32nd of the spring.
The Panthers won the ensuing draw control as Perticone came up with the ball. Middlebury gained some breathing room a little over a minute later when Sara DiCenso found Casey O'Neill for her ninth goal of the season and a 6-4 lead with 1:30 remaining.
Perticone again came up big on the draw as the Panthers gained possession and were able to run out the clock. The draw control was her third of the contest.
Four different players scored for TCNJ, with Amanda Muller dishing out two helpers. Miranda Chrone made a pair of saves in goal. The Panthers were outshot 27-12 in the game and were able to overcome 21 turnovers, while causing 14.
This was the first regular season meeting between the schools with all 10 of the previous contests coming during NCAA Tournament play. The teams last met in the NCAA Quarterfinals in 2007 on Kohn Field, with the Panthers edging out an 11-10 win.