Fifth-Ranked Middlebury Edges No. 8 York (Pa.)

Julia Keith finished with a career-high 11 saves in Wednesday's victory.
Julia Keith finished with a career-high 11 saves in Wednesday's victory.

Playing its third nationally-ranked opponent in five days, Middlebury's Casey O'Neill scored with 4:27 left and Julia Keith had a career-high 11 saves, lifting the Panthers to a 7-6 road win at No. 8 York (Pa.). Wednesday's contest was a rematch of an NCAA Quarterfinal match-up last spring which Middlebury won, 11-10. The fifth-ranked Panthers face another ranked opponent on Saturday when it hosts No. 13 Amherst in NESCAC play at 2:00 p.m.

In the low-scoring first half, York (5-3) got on the scoreboard first when Regan Cook found the back of the net with a high shot into the upper-left corner at 20:55. The Panthers reeled off four-straight goals from four different players spanning 10:10 of action, including free-position tallies from Grace Getman, Emma McDonagh and Jane Earley, for a 4-1 lead with 8:40 remaining.

The Spartans cut into the deficit to a pair with 1:31 left when Meghan Fox scored on a high shot into the left side, as Middlebury possessed a 4-2 lead at the halftime break. Keith had her best save of the initial half at the 17:26 mark on a free-position attempt, as the Panther defensive unit held York without a shot for 14:27 of action.

The visitors tallied two of the first three goals in the second half, including a wraparound goal by McDonagh and a score by Getman on a bouncing shot for a 6-3 lead with 20:22 remaining. York recorded the next three goals, with a player-up score by Chloe MacDonald and two more from Cook to tie the game at 6-6 with just over five minutes left.

The eventual game-winning goal from O'Neill came when she received a pass from Emily Barnard from right to left, before finding space inside the left post over York goalie Abby Smith's shoulder. The Panther defense was strong in the final minutes, including three saves by Keith with two on point-blank shots, to preserve the one-goal win.

Middlebury's defense held York to a season-low six goals, the fewest scored by the Spartans since March 24, 2018. Keith earned the win in goal, stopping eight shots during the second half. Addy Mitchell finished with three ground balls and three caused turnovers. McDonagh, Getman and O'Neill each had two goals to lead the Panthers, while Earley had a score and Barnard added an assist. With her two goals, McDonagh has garnered at least one point in 34-straight games.

Smith made 10 saves for York in the crease. Cook paced the Spartan offense with three goals and an assist to go along with three ground balls, while Nicole Clauter also had three rollers. Claudia DiVenti led all players with four draw controls and added two ground balls.