#5 Middlebury Pulls Away From #4 Salisbury, 11-6

Addy Mitchell had three caused turnovers and three ground balls in Middlebury's win at Salisbury.
Addy Mitchell had three caused turnovers and three ground balls in Middlebury's win at Salisbury.

In a top-five showdown of nationally-ranked programs, Middlebury scored the first four goals of the second half en route to an 11-6 road victory at fourth-ranked Salisbury (7-2) on Monday. The win by the fifth-ranked Panthers (5-1) brought an end to the Sea Gulls' 20-game home winning streak dating back to the 2017 season. Middlebury faces another ranked opponent Wednesday at 4:30 p.m., playing at #8 York (Pa.) in a rematch of a NCAA Quarterfinal match-up last spring.

The teams alternated goals for the most of the first half with the teams being tied three different times. The Panthers took their first lead of the contest with 13:05 showing on the clock when Jane Earley scored inside the left post on a free-position shot. Less than a minute later, Emily Barnard made a nice spin move on the left side of the crease that resulted in a two-goal cushion for Middlebury.

The hosts responded with back-to-back goals, but Emma McDonagh used a high-low fake to slip a shot past Sea Gull goalie Skye Graham with 5:04 left before the half. Middlebury keeper Kate Furber made a clutch save with 11 seconds remaining, sending the Panthers into the break with a 6-5 lead.

Middlebury started the second 30 minutes on the offensive, scoring three times in the first 10 minutes. Barnard tallied a pair, before McDonagh potted her second of the contest with 9:13 expired for a 9-5 advantage. The Panthers extended the lead to 10-5 on another marker by Barnard, while the hosts picked up their first goal of the second stanza on a shot by Courtney Fegan with 13:54 on the clock.

Barnard charged the net from the left side for a player-up goal, pushing Middlebury's advantage to 11-6 with 11:29 left to play. That turned out to be the final tally of the contest, as the Panther defense didn't allow a shot in the final 10 minutes and the offense protected the ball when it had possession.

Middlebury's defense was stellar throughout, limiting the Sea Gulls to a season-low six goals and yielded just one score over the final 38:17. Furber made two saves in the opening half to earn the win, while Julia Keith had one stop in the final 30 minutes. Alex White collected four ground balls and caused three turnovers, while Addy Mitchell also caused three turnovers and collected three ground balls. Erin Nicholas chipped in with six draw controls and four ground balls. Barnard recorded her second five-goal game of the season, while McDonagh and Earley each netted a pair of scores.

Graham made eight saves for Salisbury in 50 minutes of action and Kendall Bannan had four caused turnovers and three ground balls. Fegan paced the Sea Gull attack with three goals.

Middlebury held a 26-15 advantage in shots and won the ground ball battle 26-20. The Panthers also forced 26 turnovers.