Late Goal Lifts #6 Middlebury Past Hamilton

Keeper Ursula Alwang made seven saves to earn the shutout against Hamilton
Keeper Ursula Alwang made seven saves to earn the shutout against Hamilton

Middlebury's Leah Salzman scored the game's only goal late in the second half, sparking the Panthers to a 1-0 road NESCAC win at Hamilton on Sunday. Sixth-ranked Middlebury (7-0-0, 4-0-0) has won seven-straight games to start the season, matching that of the 2009 squad. The Panthers remain on the road Saturday with an 11:00 a.m. conference contest at Colby.

Both teams played tight defense in the opening 45 minutes, as Middlebury and Hamilton (3-2-1, 1-2-0) each directed only three shots on goal. The best chance for the Continentals came 11:40 into the contest when Kayleigh Harris took a shot from the top of the penalty area that Panther keeper Ursula Alwang made a diving save to her right on. Middlebury countered with a late opportunity, as Simone Ameer fired a shot from inside Hamilton restraining area just wide of the right post.

In the second stanza, Alwang kept the game scoreless, making two big saves within seconds of each other. Hamilton's Katie McKillop lofted a long shot from well outside the penalty area that Alwang jumped and punched over the cross bar with 23:35 showing on the clock. On the ensuing corner kick, Alwang dove to her right pushing away a header attempt by Olivia Simone.

Middlebury had a tremendous chance to break the scoreless tie with 15 minutes remaining, when Ellie Greenberg set up Salzman for a shot on a two-on-one rush. Hamilton goalie Rachel Pike denied the bid with a kick save. Salzman didn't miss her second opportunity moments later, running onto a long clear by a Panther defender and rolling a shot just inside the left post for the game's only score with 13:34 on the clock.

Alwang made a final save in the closing minutes, earning her second shutout of the season with seven saves. Pike also had seven stops for the Continentals.

The game was tight throughout, as Middlebury held a slight 18-17 advantage in shots, while Hamilton took five of the game's seven corner kicks.