Middlebury Falls to #2 Williams, 1-0

Middlebury Falls to #2 Williams, 1-0

The Middlebury women's soccer team saw its eight-match winning streak come to an end, as second-ranked Williams edged the Panthers 1-0 Tuesday in the regular-season finale for both teams. The loss dropped Middlebury to 12-3 overall and 7-3 in the NESCAC, while the Ephs remain unbeaten at 14-0-1 and 9-0-1 in league play. The Panthers have earned the third seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament and will host sixth-seeded Bowdoin in a quarterfinal game on Saturday at 12:30.

Middlebury came close to getting on the scoreboard in the 17th minute with a pair of chances. Amanda Hotvedt placed a corner kick to the front of the Eph net before Adrianna Gildner redirected the ball on goal. Williams' keeper Olivia Barnhill made the save, but couldn't control the rebound as it slid back out to Hotvedt. The Panther midfielder quickly sent the ball back into the Eph penalty area, but the scoring bid was denied by a defender.

The hosts scored the match's only goal in the first half when Audrey Thomas chased down a pass from Kristi Kirsche. Thomas eluded Middlebury keeper Kate Reinmuth and touched a shot off the right post and in for a tally with 15:39 on the clock.

In the second half, Middlebury had a great opportunity to pull even on a shot from point-blank range in the 68th minute. Katherine Hobbs settled the ball five yards out from the goal mouth and fired a quick shot to the left side of the net, but Barnhill made a diving save to protect the lead.

The Panthers had another chance with just under five minutes remaining when Alissa Huntington took a shot from the top of the penalty area that Barnhill again dove to her right for the save.

In goal for the Panthers, Reinmuth made three saves during the opening half as she suffered the loss, while Ursula Alwang stopped the only shot she faced in the second stanza. Barnhill earned the shutout with four saves. Williams held a 10-5 advantage in shots, but the margin for shots on goal was much closer at 5-4 in favor of the Ephs. Middlebury held a slight edge in corner kicks (3-2).