Fourth-ranked Middlebury fought off a late surge by #15 Hamilton as the Panthers netted a key 13-11 NESCAC road win on Wednesday. Middlebury (7-2, 4-1) continues NESCAC play on Saturday, hosting Bates at 12:00 p.m.
The hosts (6-4, 4-2) grabbed a 1-0 lead on the game's initial possession, when Nora Klemmer tallied 25 seconds into the contest. Middlebury's Henley Hall scored less than a minute later to tie the game and put the guests in front 2-1 on a free-position attempt with 4:10 expired.
The Continentals tied the score at 2-2, but the Panthers scored four of the next five goals to carry a 6-3 advantage into the break.
Hall gave Middlebury a 7-3 lead 2:45 into the second half, but Katie Pooley tallied just over a minute later bring the difference back to three. The teams continued to alternate goals, both scoring while a player down. Emma McDonagh notched a player-down goal for the Panthers with 21:34 on the clock, while Klemmer countered 1:11 later with a player on the sideline serving an infraction.
McDonagh and Klemmer again traded goals making it a 9-6 Middlebury lead before Darby Philbrick made it a two-goal contest, scoring with 18:34 left in the half. Hollis Perticone and Georgia Carroll recorded back-to-back-goals for the Panthers, but consecutive goals by Philbrick and Casey File brought the hosts back to within striking distance.
After Jenna McNicholas scored for Middlebury to push the lead to 12-9, Files and Philbrick recorded goals 26 seconds apart, making it a one-goal game. The Continentals had a chance to tie the game with just over five minutes remaining, but a failed clear and a clutch ground ball from McNicholas set the Panthers up for an insurance goal. Perticone tallied the contest's final goal with 4:31 left in the game, as Middlebury snapped Hamilton's modest five-game win streak with the 13-11 decision.
Hall finished with a career-best four goals and an assist for the Panthers, while McDonagh recorded the hat trick and added an assist. Carroll, Perticone and McNicholas each contributed with two goals apiece in the victory. Campbell Goldsmith collected six ground balls with Perticone winning four draw controls, while Delaina Smith finished with four caused turnovers.
For Hamilton, File tallied four times, while Klemmer and Philbrick both had three goals. Morgan Fletcher led all players with eight ground balls and Philbrick had six draw controls.
In goal for the Panthers, Kate Furber (6-2) earned the victory with seven saves, while Hannah Burrall (5-2) made nine stops in the loss.
The teams each directed 28 shots on goal and Middlebury held a slight 23-22 edge in ground balls. The Panthers also took advantage of their free-position attempts going 4-6, while the Continentals were 2-10.