Middlebury used a five-goal run over a span of more than 17 minutes, breaking open a close game for a 14-8 triumph at #12 Trinity (8-4, 4-4) on Saturday. The third-ranked Panthers (11-1, 6-1) have won 11-straight games and are a perfect 7-0 against ranked opponents this spring. Middlebury returns to NESCAC play Sunday at 1:00 p.m. with a road game at #24 Hamilton.
Through the opening 10 minutes of the contest, Trinity's Mary French and Middlebury's Emma McDonagh each accounted for all of their team's goals. French netted the first score of the contest with 1:36 expired, while McDonagh tied the game for the second time at 2-2. The Panther shook a defender on the right side and directed a high shot over Bantam goalie Gabriella Young with 21:04 on the clock. McDonagh gave the Panthers their first lead just over a minute later, burying a free-position attempt.
McDonagh's goal kicked off a run of four-straight tallies coming on free-position shots. Emily Barnard and Henley Hall sandwiched scores around one by Trinity's Lillianna Khosrowshahi for a 5-3 cushion in the middle stages of the stanza.
The hosts later closed to within 8-6, but a last-second goal by Middlebury gave the visitors a three-goal lead at the break. The Bantams had possession with 16 seconds remaining, but Addy Mitchell caused a turnover and Barnard ripped a low shot from 20 yards just before the horn.
In the second frame, the Panthers continued to pad their lead, as Jenna McNicholas tucked a high shot into the cage with 21:07 on the clock, while Kirsten Murphy scored on a free-position shot just over a minute later for an 11-6 edge. Barnard tacked on consecutive goals, with the latter coming on a leaping shot from the left side of the crease for a 13-6 advantage.
The Bantams finally broke through for a goal with 18:45 expired, as French recorded her third tally of the game. Another Trinity goal closed the gap to 13-8, but Middlebury concluded the scoring with 3:21 left on a marker from McNicholas.
Barnard paced the Panther attack with four goals, giving her a career-high 29 this season. McDonagh and McNicholas each contributed with hat tricks. Jane Earley chipped in with a goal, five ground balls and two caused turnovers, while Erin Nicholas had four draw controls and three caused turnovers. Julia Keith (9-1) earned the win with three saves in the first half, while Kate Furber made three stops in the final 30 minutes.
For the Bantams, French tallied times, while Brook Swan and Khosrowshahi each netted a pair. Lauren Taylor had three caused turnovers and Alex Wahlstrom had a team-high five draw controls. Young had three stops (46:21) for the Bantams, while Addison Newsome had two (13:39).
Middlebury excelled on free-position shots, scoring on 7-8.