The Middlebury women's soccer team advanced to the NESCAC Semifinals after a 2-1 win over sixth-seeded Bowdoin (9-6-1) on Dragone Field. The third-seeded Panthers (13-3) will face second-seeded Amherst at Williams next Saturday, while the hosts will battle Trinity. The winners meet on Sunday at noon for the NESCAC Championship.
Middlebury took a 1-0 lead just 4:35 into the contest with the sixth of the season from Katherine Hobbs. Hobbs had an open line to the goal before being cut off by a Bowdoin defender. She stepped back with a quick one-touch, created some space and fired the ball into the left side of the net.
The game remained 1-0 into the second half, where the Panthers threatened again. Adrianna Gildner ripped a shot from 25 yards out on the left that just missed the crossbar in the 52nd minute.
Bowdoin evened the score at 1-1 on its only shot on goal of the match, a penalty kick at the 53:23 mark. After a Panther foul just inside the 18, Nikki Wilson blasted a shot into the left side of the net for her third of the year.
The tie lasted only 1:31 as the Panthers went back on top when Amy Martin netted her second of the season. Sara DiCenso pushed a pass down the middle of the field to Martin, as it deflected toward the 18. Martin won the footrace with Bowdoin keeper Rachel Stout, knocking the ball into an open right side of the net.
Middlebury kept up the pressure, but Stout denied Gildner after a nice crossing pass from Martin in the 68th minute.
Bowdoin's last chance came in the 75th minute with a flurry of action in the box, but the Polar Bears were unable to get a shot on the Panther goal.
Middlebury finished with a 12-7 shots advantage, holding a 4-2 edge in corner kicks. Ursula Alwang was forced to make no saves in goal to pick up the win, while Stout made three stops for Bowdoin.
Middlebury has now won nine of its last 10 matches, avenging a 1-0 loss to Bowdoin on September 24. This was the first post-season meeting between the schools since 2009, when the Panthers picked up a 1-0 NESCAC Quarterfinal win.