No. 3 Middlebury Eases Past Ephs in NESCAC Finale

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Middlebury scored five goals in a 3:54 span midway through the first half on its way to a 16-5 win over Williams in the NESCAC regular season finale for both teams.

Third-ranked Middlebury (13-1, 9-1) has earned the second seed for the upcoming NESCAC tournament and will host seventh-seeded Bates in a quarterfinal game on Saturday, April 27th at noon. Williams ends its season with an 8-7 record, 3-7 in NESCAC play.

Both teams struggled early, with three shots and 11 combined turnovers in the game's first 10 minutes of play. The Panthers then exploded for five goals in 3:54 span to take the lead. Margaret Souther and Katie Ritter scored free position goals, before Ellen Halle fed Liza Herzog and Laurel Pascal for a pair of tallies. Halle scored a goal of her own at 11:28, dodging through defenders to make it a 5-0 contest.

Rebecca McGovern put Williams on the board at the 10:28 mark, with Souther and Pascal answering for Middlebury to make it a 7-1 game with 3:04 remaining. A free position tally by Eph Stephanie Gallo and the third of the half from Souther made it an 8-2 game at the intermission.

Halle scored with a nice feed from Ritter early in the second half, before neither team scored for the next 8:41 of play. Following a quick-stick goal from Herzog on a feed from Halle, Bridget Malicki of Williams scored on an open net to make it a 10-3 game.

Herzog and Souther scored 32 seconds apart before Cook converted a free possession for the Ephs to cut the lead to 12-4 with 11:08 remaining.

Middlebury netted four of the game's final five goals in the last 9:24 of play, coming away with the 16-5 victory.

Souther and Herzog each scored a game-high four goals, while Halle, Pascal and Chrissy Ritter each scored twice. Halle also dished out four assists in the game, while Catherine Fowler and Herzog each earned four draw controls. Alyssa Palomba made seven saves in 55:31, while Katie Mandigo made two stops in the final 4:29.

Five different players scored solo goals for Williams, while Elizabeth Ryan had three ground balls and two caused turnovers. Ali Piltch made 11 saves in goal.


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