NEW LONDON, Conn.--Astrid Kempainen (Chazy, N.Y.) had two goals and an assist to lead the Connecticut College women's soccer team in a 3-0 blanking of 24th ranked Middlebury College on Freeman Field at Tempel Green Saturday.
With their undefeated record, the Camels are off to the fastest start for any Camel women's soccer team since the NESCAC officially aligned with a conference standing format in 2000.
Kempainen was pleased with the team's focus in pulling out a win against one of the nation's elite powerhouse programs for the second time in three years.
"In the midfield, we've been working on connecting with our forwards," Kempainen said. Assistant Coach Rob (Brule) has been working hard with the forwards to make it more creative and for us to connect more with each other. When you are a playing a team that went to the NCAA Final Four last year it's a different mood going into the game. We knew we were capable of it so we went as hard as we could and we knew we could win and 3-0 is insane! It feels incredible!"
Kate Reinmuth (Olympia, Wash.) made eight saves in the setback for the Panthers (2-2, 0-2 NESCAC). Shots were even at 13 aside while the Camels held a slight edge in corners, 3-2.
Kempainen opened the scoring in the 21st minute when she buried a penalty kick to the near post side of the goal for the Camels.
The 1-0 lead would carry into the break. In the second stanza, both sides had chances. But in the 72nd minute, Grace Bilodeau (Harvard, Mass.) unloaded with a 35 yard bomb that sailed right over Reinmuth's head and tucked in under the crossbar to provide critical insurance.
Kempainen was the facilitator for the hosts.
"I had a great pass from Astrid and she just screamed for me to take the shot," Bilodeau exclaimed. "I just knew once I hit it that it was going in. It's an amazing feeling to beat someone highly regarded like Middlebury in the NESCAC. To score a goal and also come out with a 3-0 win is an incredible feeling."
Jamie Soroka (Redondo Beach, Calif.) nearly got one back for the Panthers with 16:30 remaining but Montalvo was able to make a diving stab for one of her seven second half saves.
In the 79th minute, Kempainen tacked on another goal when she hooked a corner kick that landed just inside the far post.
Kempainen had provided the difference making goal to knock off then ranked #7 Middlebury from the unbeaten ranks in their last visit to New London back in 2012.
The Camels were able to hold on for the 3-0 victory.