Hartford, Conn. – The Middlebury Panthers scored twice in each half to come away with a 4-1 victory over the Trinity College Bantams on Saturday afternoon in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) women's soccer action in Hartford. Trinity falls to 4-5-2 on the year and 2-4-1 in league play while the No. 5-ranked Panthers improve to 11-0-1 overall and 6-0-1 in NESCAC action. The Bantams return to the pitch tomorrow for a noon matchup with Tufts University.
In a high-paced first half, the Bantams struck first in the 10th minute off a corner kick. Junior Maeve Rabbitt (Concord, Mass.) inserted the ball which found rookie Caroline Sullivan (North Hampton, N.H.) in front of the box, who knocked it home for her first career goal. The Panthers returned the favor nearly ten minutes later when they evened the score on a goal via a corner kick. Amanda Dafonte (Pennington, N.J.) took the corner and placed a beautiful pass into the scrum in front of Trinity sophomore goalie Taylor O'Connor (Danvers, Mass.). The pass found Elizabeth Van Voorhis (Mattapoisett, Mass.) who rifled a header into the back of the net to tie things at 1-1.
Middlebury took a 2-1 lead just before the half when Clare Robinson (Davidson, N.C.) and Olivia Miller (Laguna Beach, Calif.) linked up off another corner. Miller served the ball into the box which found Robinson's head as she redirected the ball past O'Connor and into the top shelf of goal.
The Panthers wasted little time striking in the second half, jumping out to a 3-1 advantage when Eliza Robinson (Davidson, N.C.) scored in the 50th minute. Dafonte took another corner which was originally snuffed out by Trinity's defense. The ball rolled back to Dafonte near the original kick, where she sent the ball back towards the net where it found Robinson who snuck a shot just inside the far-side post for the goal. Van Voorhis tallied her second score of the day just over five minutes later via an assist from Eliza Robinson to give the Panthers a commanding, 4-1 lead.
Trinity nearly cut into the lead with eight minutes left to play when rookie Duun O'Hara (Woodstock, Conn.) rifled a shot on net, but Middlebury goalie Ursula Alwang (Weston, Conn.) laid out and made the save. A few minutes later, O'Hara sent another strong shot towards goal but Alwang was there once again to shut the door. The Panthers managed to bleed clock for the game's final minutes and come away with the 4-1 victory.