The Middlebury women's soccer team scored three times in the second half, as the Panthers stormed past visiting Plattsburgh State in their home opener 4-1 Wednesday on Dragone Field. Middlebury ran its record to 2-1 on the season with the victory, while the Cardinals dipped to 4-1. The Panthers are home Saturday at 12:00 p.m. for a NESCAC match against 10th-ranked Amherst, while Plattsburgh State travels to Skidmore.
The Cardinals took an early 1-0 when Anissa Hartmann collected a pass from Madeline Saccocio and dribbled into the Middlebury penalty area. After creating a shooting lane, Hartmann lined a shot into the upper-right corner of the net 1:15 into the contest.
Middlebury came close to pulling even on a scramble in front of the Plattsburgh State net in the 28th minute, but defender Paige Howk cleared the ball out of harm's way to keep the difference at one.
The Panthers got the equalizer late in the first half when Rebecca Palacios served a cross from the right wing into the penalty area. Abigail Blyler ran onto the ball and headed a shot into the back of the net. Blyler's goal, the first of her career, came with 3:48 remaining in the half.
With the score knotted at 1-1 entering the second half, Middlebury took its first lead of the match on a play that originated with a corner kick. Adrianna Gildner lofted the ball into the wind toward Amanda Hotvedt, who one-touched it to the far post where Katherine Hobbs put Middlebury in front with her second goal of the season. The goal came 4:21 into the new half.
The Panthers added two quick goals in the final 10 minutes of the match, as Blyler netted her second of the game and Emma Shumway added the contest's final tally. Blyler touched in a short pass from Amy Martin with 7:07 showing on the clock, while Shumway tucked home a rebound and 1:42 later. That goal came just after Plattsburgh State keeper Nichole Gibson made a diving save on a shot by Sabrina Glaser.
Middlebury goalie Ursula Alwang made one save in the second half for her first collegiate victory, while Kate Reinmuth played the opening period. Gibson finished with 10 saves, as the Panthers held a 23-3 advantage in shots.