Middlebury, Vt. – The visiting Trinity College Bantams allowed three first-half goals and finished the 2019 season with a 3-1 setback against the Middlebury College Panthers in the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Field Hockey Championship Quarterfinals this afternoon. No. 8-seeded Trinity closes the campaign with an 8-8 record, while the top-seeded Panthers improve to 15-1 with their 32nd home win in a row and advance to the semifinal round at home against Hamilton next Saturday.
Trailing, 3-0, at halftime, the Bantams needed only 20 seconds to close the margin to two with a goal in transition. Sophomore midfielder Caelin Flaherty (Upton, Mass.) carried the ball on the left side into the shooting arc, before sending a pass to junior forward Kendall Brown (Rowayton, Conn.) on the left side for her team-leading 13th goal of the fall.
Trinity pressed in the fourth stanza, recording three penalty corners in the final seven minutes. The Panther defense held its ground, including a stop by goalie Grace Harlan on one of those attempts on a shot by Trinity sophomore Christine Taylor (Westport, Conn.). On the rebound, Bantam senior tri-captain forward Jordan Ragland (Westport, Conn.) fired another attempt at the Middlebury cage that defender Olivia Green knocked away, keeping the score at 3-1 at the final horn.
Middlebury had netted the game’s first goal just 1:52 into the contest. Marissa Baker fired a long hit from the right side to the far post, where a diving Katie George directed the pass into the Trinity net for her 10th tally of the fall. Ragland earned a penalty stroke with 1:11 left in the opening frame, but Harlan made a key stop on the attempt.
In the second quarter, the Panthers increased their lead to 3-0, picking up a pair of goals in 55 seconds. Audrey Lazar tucked home a rebound on a shot taken by Baker on a penalty corner with 11:06 on the clock, while Danielle Brown made it a three-goal cushion following a scramble in front of the Bantam cage. Harland earned the win with five saves, while Trinity rookie backstop Emma Cropper (Wilton, Conn.) finished with nine stops for the Bantams. Middlebury held a 17-8 advantage in shots, while boasting a 9-4 edge in penalty corners.