MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - A four-goal flurry in the last seven minutes of the 1st half vaulted No.2 Middlebury College past No.19 University of New England, 5-0, in the second round of the 2017 NCAA Division III Field Hockey Championship on Saturday (Nov. 11) at Kohn Field.
The Panthers (17-2) move on to face No.14 University of Rochester (a 2-1 winner over Husson) in the national quarterfinals on Sunday.
The nationally-ranked Nor'easters conclude 2017 with an 18-5 overall mark.
UNE had the first two shot attempts in the contest, but Middlebury's initial try found its way through in the 9th minute off the stick of Grace Jennings (Ghent, N.Y.). Then things started to click for the hosts down the stretch into halftime, as Julia Richards (Newtown Square, Pa.) (28:12), Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) (31:20), Annie Leonard (Darien, Conn.) (32:21), and Lauren Schweppe (Chester Springs, Pa. ) (34:44) all registered goals for the Panthers. Middlebury had an 11-3 edge in shots during the frame, although penalty corners were just 6-5.
Each side only managed one shot in the 2nd period, when UNE posted a 6-1 advantage in corners.
Abby Furdak (Wellesley, Mass.) stopped the only attempt that reached her to preserve the shutout for the Panthers. Her counterpart on UNE, Liz Sargent (South Burlington, Vt.), also totaled one save.
The result put a cap on the winningest senior class in UNE program history (72-23). The group of career scoring-leader Vonde Saunders (Center Conway, N.H.), Olivia Madore (Lyman, Maine), Hannah Buckley (Leominster, Mass.), Brenna Sicard (Sunderland, Mass.), Becky Zakorchemny (Gilford, N.H.), Alex Staples (Alfred, Maine), Liz Clark (Barre, Vt.), and Kyla Bartnicki (Niskayuna, N.Y.) exit with a 45-3 record in Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC) action, equaling four regular-season crowns and setting things up for just as many postseason championships. They also saw the program through its first four NCAA tournament victories.
Game recap courtesy of the University of New England Sports Information Department.
2017 NCAA DIVISION III FIELD HOCKEY TOURNAMENT SCHEDULE
NCAA First Round – Wednesday, Nov. 8
Hosted by University of New England
No. 19 University of New England def. St. Joseph's (Maine), 2-1 | BOX
NCAA Second Round – Saturday, Nov. 11
Hosted by Middlebury
No. 2 Middlebury def. No. 19 University of New England, 5-0 | BOX
No. 14 Rochester vs. Husson, 2 p.m.
ABOUT THE COMMONWEALTH COAST CONFERENCE
The Commonwealth Coast Conference (CCC), founded in 1984, is an NCAA Division III athletic conference comprised of ten full member and four associate member institutions throughout the New England region. Its membership aims to provide student-athletes with a positive experience in their pursuit of excellence through high academic standards, quality competition, and a meaningful student life. The conference administers championships in 18 intercollegiate sports.