Middlebury Handles MIT, 20-2

Kate Zecca finished with three goals in the win over MIT.
Kate Zecca finished with three goals in the win over MIT.

Middlebury scored the first 13 goals, as the Panthers extended their winning streak to eight-straight games with a 20-2 triumph over visiting Massachusetts Institute of Technology on Thursday. Both teams play road games at noon on Saturday, with third-ranked Middlebury (8-1) heading to Colby for a NESCAC contest, while the Engineers (4-6) are at Wellesley.

The Panthers got off to a very quick start, as Lily Riseberg tallied 22 seconds into the game after eluding a defender on the right side of the crease. Riseberg then set up Jenna McNicholas with a pass from behind the cage, while Jane Earley used a low shot on a free-position attempt to give the hosts a 3-0 cushion with just 2:08 expired.

Middlebury tacked on three more scores in a two-minute span with Casey O'Neill picking up the final two. Emily Barnard scored on a nice move with her back to the goal, while Emma McDonagh attacked the cage from straight on for another Middlebury goal. Earley and Erin Nicholas added markers 39 seconds apart, putting the margin at double figures (10-0) with 16:12 left in the frame. Kate Zecca buried a feed from Riseberg, before Madeline Riordan and Zecca tallied again for a 13-0 advantage at the half.

The Engineers opened the scoring in the second stanza, as Middlebury goalie Kate Furber denied Eva Then on a free-position shot, but she collected the ground ball and put in her own rebound. Riordan got the score back for the hosts with 23:46 on the clock, firing a low shot from a free-position bid into the net for a 14-1 lead.

Then tallied MIT's next goal minutes later on a feed from behind the net off the stick of Ali Hoffman. Middlebury notched the final six goals of the contest, with Zecca and Erica Barr each contributing a pair in that run for the 20-2 final.

The Panthers had 11 different players record goals in the victory, led by Riordan's four, while Zecca added the hat trick. Riseberg boasted a five-point effort on one goal and a game-high four assists. Sophie MacKeigan collected three ground balls, while Nicholas, Barr and O'Neill each had three draw controls. Julia Keith made one save in the opening 30 minutes to earn the win, while Furber had three stops in the second half.

Then tallied both goals for the Engineers, to go along with two ground balls and four draw controls. In goal, Hannah Adams made five saves in the opening frame, while Kiely Smiga-McManus (one save) and Elena Boal (four) split time in the final 30 minutes.

Middlebury, which held the opposition to single digits in goals for the seventh time this season, held a 31-11 edge in shots and 14-9 advantage in draw controls.