Middlebury, Vt. - Erin Nicholas converted a penalty stroke with 2:03 remaining in overtime, lifting the top-ranked Middlebury College Panthers to a 3-2 victory over the visiting Trinity College Bantams on Saturday. Trinity, which received two goals from junior forward Kendall Brown (Rowayton, Conn.) in the upset bid, fall to 6-7 overall and 1-7 in the NESCAC. Middlebury is now 12-0 overall and 8-0 in the league. The Bantams entertain Wesleyan next Saturday at 11 a.m.
Trinity had the best chance of the opening quarter, taking a penalty corner with four minutes showing on the clock. First-year Elle Fair (Westport, Conn.) had a shot from the right side following the insert, but Middlebury’s defense muted the bid before it got to the cage. The Panthers had the lone penalty corner in the second frame, with Trinity blocking Nicholas’s shot from inside the shooting circle.
The scoring opened up in the third stanza, with the hosts striking early. Katie George worked her way down the right side and slid a low shot into the corner of the Bantam net with 1:20 expired. Trinity quickly evened the score, as Brown’s bid hit a Middlebury player and caromed into the upper-left-corner of the Panther net for a 1-1 score. The guests took their first lead of the contest with 11:04 on the clock in the fourth quarter when Brown redirected a pass in by senior tri-captain Caroline Curtin (Andover, Mass.), who had made a nice run up the left wing. Middlebury knotted the score at 2-2 with 3:17 left in regulation on a play that started with a penalty corner. Isabel Chandler sent a pass to the left side, where Marissa Baker fired in a shot to set up overtime.
In the 10-minute extra session, both teams had chances before the hosts were awarded a penalty stroke. George carried the ball into the shooting area and was fouled, resulting in the stroke. Nicholas buried a shot in the lower-left potion of the net for the game winner. Grace Harlan earned the win goal for Middlebury with two saves, while rookie Emma Cropper (Wilton, Conn.) finished with three stops for the visitors. Middlebury held a slim 9-8 edge in shots, holding a 6-4 advantage in penalty corners.