First-Half Surge Leads Panthers Past Polar Bears

Jane Earley scored five goals and picked up nine draw controls in Saturday's win.
Jane Earley scored five goals and picked up nine draw controls in Saturday's win.

Trailing 8-3, Middlebury scored the final nine goals of the first half, coming away with a 21-18 win at #18 Bowdoin (2-4, 1-3) on Saturday afternoon. The sixth-ranked Panthers (4-1, 3-1) return to action on Monday at #5 Salisbury.

Bowdoin came out charging, taking a 5-1 lead at the 19:12 mark of the first half. The Polar Bears went ahead 8-3 at the midway point of the half, paced by three Eliza Denious goals. Middlebury took over for the remaining 12:43 of the opening session, scoring nine-consecutive goals to take a 12-8 lead into the intermission. Jane Earley scored three free-position markers during the run, with five other players scoring solo goals.

Bowdoin scored three of the first four second-half goals, cutting the margin to 13-11 at the 23:38 mark. The Panthers followed with four-straight tallies from four different players, gaining some breathing room with a 17-11 advantage with 18:01 remaining. The Polar Bears closed the gap to 19-16 with 7:16 on the clock, but goals from Casey O'Neill and Emma McDonagh solidified Middlebury's 21-16 victory.

Earley's five goals paced the Panthers, while McDonagh and O'Neill each scored four times, and Emily Barnard added three. Earley also won nine draws in the game, while Alex White caused three turnovers. Julia Keith made three saves in 12:54, while Kate Furber equaled her number in 47:06 to earn the win.

Denious finished with four goals for Bowdoin, with three apiece from Fiona Bundy and Katie Miller. Miller also finished with eight draw controls, Kara Finnerty earned six, while Caroline Maxwell caused three turnovers.  Erin Morrissey suffered the loss in goal, making two saves in 25:36, while Aaliyah Biondo made four stops in 21:30 of action.

Middlebury held a 39-29 shots advantage in the game, but were edged 24-15 in draw controls. The Panthers converted 6-9 free position attempts in the game, while the Polar Bears were 5-7.