Second-Ranked Middlebury Eases Past No. 17 Bowdoin

Alex White tallied her first career goal in Saturday's win over Bowdoin.
Alex White tallied her first career goal in Saturday's win over Bowdoin.

Second-ranked Middlebury tallied eight of the first nine goals Saturday and eased to a 14-4 victory in NESCAC play over No. 17 Bowdoin on Kohn Field. The Panthers (6-0, 4-0) return to action on Tuesday when play at No. 6 The College of New Jersey at 7:00 p.m., while the Polar Bears (6-2, 2-2) travel to fourth-ranked Trinity next Saturday at 12:00 p.m.

The hosts opened the scoring 1:27 into the contest, as Emma McDonagh fired a free-position shot into the top-right corner past Bowdoin goalie Kayli Weiss. Scores from Emily Barnard, Hollis Perticone and Sara DiCenso over the next seven minutes gave the Panthers a 4-0 advantage with 21:26 left in the stanza. Casey O'Neill tucked in an attempt into the upper-left corner a little over three minutes later, while Perticone scored her second of the game on a nifty pass from behind the goal by DiCenso for a 6-0 lead with 17:06 remaining.

The Polar Bears got on the scoreboard at the 16:38 mark. Katherine Miller whipped a shot that Panther goalie Julia Keith got a piece of but the attempt trickled just over the goal line. Middlebury made the score 8-1 on goals from Grace Getman at 15:27 and Georgia Carroll with 11:45 remaining. Bowdoin's Eliza Denious pulled the visitors to within six just over two minutes later, firing a quick-stick score into the top-right corner while being up a player. A tally from Jenna McNicholas and a free-position goal by Kate Zecca gave the Panthers a 10-2 lead at the halftime break.

In the second stanza, the score remained the same until at the 20:30 mark when Erin Nicholas fired a shot into the upper-left corner for the hosts. O'Neill tallied her second of the contest just over a minute later on a feed from Kirsten Murphy from behind the net. Denious cut the Bowdoin deficit to 12-3 at 18:11 on a bouncing free-position score, before McDonagh pushed the lead back to 10 with a tally at the 16:45 mark. Miller notched her second of the game on a quick-stick attempt on a pass from Natalie Rudin with just under 10 minutes left. Alex White capped the scoring for Middlebury with her first career goal on a bouncing shot with less than a minute remaining for the final 14-4 tally.

McDonagh, O'Neill and Perticone paced the Panthers with two goals apiece, while Murphy dished out five assists. DiCenso tacked on a goal and a helper to go along with three ground balls. Addy Mitchell anchored the defense with a game-high six caused turnovers, while Perticone secured a game-best seven draw controls. Keith finished with six saves for her sixth-straight victory.

Denious and Miller accounted for the Polar Bear goals. Weiss finished with 12 saves and a team-best four ground balls. Grace DeWald tallied three caused turnovers for the visitors, while Hannah Hirschfeld recorded three ground balls and caused two turnovers.

Middlebury possessed advantages in shots (40-17) and ground balls (28-19). The Panther defensive unit, which entered the game ranked third nationally, held an opponent to four goals or fewer for the fifth time this season and has yielded only 18 total through six games.