MIDDLEBURY, Vermont - The Middlebury women's soccer team squared off with #19 Connecticut College for 110 minutes Sunday on a rainy Dragone Field. At the conclusion of play, each team earned a league point via a 1-1 draw in the NESCAC opener for both squads. The Camels return to action Saturday when they visit Tufts for noon-time NESCAC match up.
Both teams started the opening half with scoring chances. The visitors grabbed the early advantage at 13:51 when Annie Higgins gathered the ball in her offensive zone. She dribbled the ball down the right side and into the six-yard box. Higgins sent a low cross into the area that found the feet of Nicole Medina, who one-touched it into the left side of the goal past Middlebury starting goalie Emily Eslinger.
Keeping the pressure up, the Panthers knotted the score a little more than four minutes later. Grace Woroch picked up a loose ball on the right sideline and sent a long, hard crossing ball into the wind that found the feet of Amy Martin. With Camel defenders closing in, Martin made a quick move to her right and laced a hard shot to the upper-right corner of the Connecticut College goal past goalkeeper Bryanna Montalvo at the 18:07 mark.
The score remained tied at 1-1 into the intermission as the rain picked up in the latter part of the opening half. As the rain continued to come down in the second half, neither team could muster up many scoring opportunities.
Middlebury's greatest chance to move ahead was in the 58th minute when Hannah Robinson ripped a shot from the right side about 20 yards out, as Montalvo made a nice save going to her right. The Camels best opportunity to take the lead happened with just over six minutes left, when Higgins tried to knock down a skipping cross from the right, as her shot went up and over Middlebury goalie Kate Reinmuth's outstretched hands and over the crossbar from eight yards.
After the first overtime in which each team had just one shot, play opened up in the second extra session as the rain subsided. In the 102nd minute, Montalvo came charging off her line and denied a chance from the left side by a sprinting Jamie Soroka from 25 yards away. A little less than three minutes later following a Camel foul, Soroka curled the ensuing free kick from left to right that Montalvo had to make a diving save on the left side of her goal. Robinson looked for the game-winning score in the 108th minute with a shot from the left at the 18, but was denied on a diving save to the far post by Montalvo as the game ended in a draw.
Sophomore Alexa Tribelli (Cranston, R.I.) launched a shot from 25 yards out with 50 seconds left that was saved by the Panters and the game ended in a draw.
In the evenly-played match, the Panthers held a narrow 17-14 edge in shots, while the Camels had four corner kicks to Middlebury's three. Eslinger (0-0-1) made two saves in the opening half, while Kate Reinmuth played the final 65:00 minutes with four saves and didn't allow a goal. Montalvo was credited with six stops in the match for Connecticut College.