Hartford, Conn. – Senior tri-captain GK Lauryn Torch (Bronxville, N.Y.) recorded a shutout with four saves to lead the visiting Middlebury College Panthers to a 2-0 victory over the Trinity College Bantams in the quarterfinal round of the New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) Championship Tournament this afternoon. Trinity, seeded No. 4 and playing at home for the first time in its seven tournament appearances, finishes its season with a 7-4-3 record, while the No. 5-seeded Panthers improve to 8-4-4 and advance to the NESCAC Semifinals on Saturday, November 6 at 1:30 p.m. against Williams at Amherst. Bates, which upset top-seeded Tufts, with a 3-2 edge on penalty kicks after a scoreless 110 minutes, plays at No. 2-seeded Amherst in the other semifinal game at 11 a.m. The NESCAC Finals will take place the next day at the same place at noon.
Middlebury got on the board early, as senior forward Nora Tomlinson-Weintraub (Burlingame, Calif.) took a waist-high pass by classmate Drew Smith (Silver Spring, Md.) from the left wing and one-timed the ball into the upper half of the goal left of Trinity junior GK Lily Pepper (Princeton Junction, N.J.) from 12 yards out directly in front of the net. The Middlebury offense continued to provide the majority of the pressure in the first half, but the Bantams nearly tied the game late in the half when a header by sophomore Heather Lyhne (Wethersfield, Conn.) sailed just over the cross bar.
Trinity picked it up offensively in the second half, coming close to tying the score on a couple of occasions. Senior back Caroline Washburne (Medfield, Mass.) sent a direct kick from the top of the box just over the cross bar early in the second, after junior forward Katie Giberson (Valhalla, N.Y.) had drawn a Panther foul, and Giberson blasted a shot from close on the left wing that caromed off the far post with just under 30 minutes remaining. Middlebury nearly went ahead, 2-0, midway through the second half, when freshman Scarlett Kirk (San Francisco, Calif.) got off a shot at an empty net from close range but Trinity junior back Shawna Altdorf (Brooklyn, Conn.) stopped the ball short of the goal.
In the 66th minute, Kirk received a pass ahead by fellow rookie Julia Favorito (Winchester, Mass.) and dribbled by two Bantam defenders before beating Trinity senior GK Emily Weedon (Wellesley, Mass.) low and to the right for a Middlebury insurance goal. Trinity held possession for much of the final 23 minutes but was held at bay by the Panther defense. Pepper and Weedon combined to make three saves in the game, while Lyhne paced the Bantams with three shots. Middlebury outshot Trinity, 13-9.