No. 9 Stevens Upended by No. 12 Middlebury

HOBOKEN, N.J. (March 29, 2011) No. 12 Middlebury downed ninth-ranked Stevens, 17-7, on Tuesday afternoon at the De Baun Athletic Complex in Hoboken, N.J. The Panthers scored the game's first four goals, and the Ducks could never get closer than two the rest of the way.

Stevens (5-2) received two goals apiece from seniors Pamela Loria (New Providence, N.J.) and Michelle Buonacuore (Medford, N.J.) in the loss.

Middlebury (5-0) had the better run of play in the first half, taking a 7-3 lead into the intermission. The Panthers ended the opening 30 minutes with a 15-13 edge in shots and a 14-9 ground ball advantage. The two teams committed an amazing 46 fouls in the first half, and the Ducks won 7 of 11 draws.

Senior midfielder Sally Ryan (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) put Middlebury on top 1-0 1:17 into the action with a free-position tally and 5:25 later, sophomore Michaela Colbert (Topsfield, Mass.) found the back of the net for the Panthers' second score.

Sophomore attack Ellen Halle (Upperco, Md.) extended the Middlebury lead to four with a pair of unassisted goals 18 seconds apart before Stevens was able to slice the lead in half thanks to markers from senior Leah Wasserman (Monmouth Beach, N.J.) and sophomore Joey Galligan (Burlingame, Calif.). Wasserman's goal was assisted by senior Pamela Loria (New Providence, N.J.).

Middlebury was able to respond, scoring three of the first half's final four goals. Freshman Kara Rafferty (Bay Shore, N.Y.) tallied the final Duck goal score the break.

Halle, junior Elizabeth Garry (Mamaroneck, N.Y.), and Colbert each scored two goals in a 7-0 run to start the second half of play as the Panthers were able to open up a 14-3 advantage. Buonacuore (two) and Loria tallied the game's last three goals for the final margin.

Stevens ended the game with a 30-28 advantage in shots but the Panthers were able to convert 61 percent of their attempts into scores. The Panthers finished with an 18-14 edge in ground balls, while Stevens ended with a 14-11 advantage in draw controls. The two teams combined to commit 79 fouls (40 for Stevens, 39 for Middlebury).

Senior Kate Cox (Aston, Pa.) caused four turnovers, picked up two ground balls, and controlled two draws for Stevens, while Galligan ended with a goal, three ground balls, and one caused turnovers. Rafferty had two points on a goal and an assist in addition to one draw control, and Loria had two ground balls and a draw control to go along with her three points.

Freshman Melanie Welcome (Winsted, Conn.) played 40-plus minutes in goal for Stevens making seven saves and picking up a team-high four ground balls. Junior Lily Nguyen (Oakland, Calif.) made 13 saves for the Panthers.

Halle finished with a game-high seven points on five goals and two assists, while Colbert and Ryan each tallied three times for Middlebury.

Stevens will return to action on April 1 and 2 when it opens Empire 8 play on the road. The Ducks will take on Utica College on Friday afternoon at 4:00 p.m. and Alfred University on Saturday at 12:00 p.m.


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