No. 3 Middlebury Pulls Away from Wesleyan

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. Middlebury broke open a 4-4 game by scoring the final six goals on its way to a 10-4 win over Wesleyan (2-3, 0-3) in the Panthers' home-opener on Kohn Field. Third-ranked Middlebury (3-0, 3-0) returns to action at Rensselaer on Tuesday.

With the game tied at 1-1, Middlebury ran off three-straight first-half goals to take a 4-1 lead with 6:34 remaining. Laurel Pascal scored on a feed from behind the net by Liza Herzog to begin the run, before Alli Sciarretta converted a free position shot. Mary O'Connell's goal on a pass from behind the cage by Bridget Instrum closed the run.

Wesleyan bounced back with a pair of goals in 1:14 to make it a one-goal game (4-3) at the break. Meredith Smith scored both of the goals, with a nice feed from Caitlin Daniels on the second tally with 4:08 remaining in the half.

The Cardinals tied the game up just 2:08 into the second half as Smith earned the hat-trick. Liana Mathias found Smith cutting down the middle for the equalizer, but that would be Wesleyan's final goal as the Panther defense kept the Cardinals off the board for the final 27:52 of the game.

The game remained tied for over 10 minutes before Pascal scored the first of her three-straight goals to put Middlebury up 7-4 with 13:19 remaining. After converting a free position shot at the 17:11 mark, Katie Ritter found Pascal for the hat-trick with 15:03 remaining. Her third goal was the nicest of the three, as she intercepted a pass from Wesleyan goalkeeper Nina Labovich and scored from 10 feet out.

Herzog scored on a rebound to increase Middlebury's lead to 8-4 with 10:47 left to play. O'Connell struck for her second of the game at 9:10, before Herzog wrapped up the scoring with 39 seconds remaining to earn a hat-trick.

Pascal's four goals led the Panthers, followed by three from Herzog and a pair from O'Connell. Hannah Deoul caused five turnovers in the game and picked up five ground balls, while Herzog and Catherine Fowler each had four draw controls. Alyssa Palomba finished with three saves in goal to improve to 3-0 on the year.

Smith's three goals paced Wesleyan, while Leah Sherman had three ground balls and a pair of turnovers. Labovich earned 10 saves in the game for the Cardinals.

Middlebury outshot its opponent 26-13 in the game, holding an 11-5 lead in draw controls.

2014-03-15



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