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Women’s Soccer Edged by No. 10 Middlebury in NESCAC Quarterfinals

Dani Milovanoz netted the equalizer in the second half (Steve McLaughlin).
Dani Milovanoz netted the equalizer in the second half (Steve McLaughlin).

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – In its second-straight NESCAC Tournament appearance, the seventh-seeded Wesleyan women's soccer team (9-5-2) came from behind to knot the game 1-1, but No. 10 Middlebury (12-1-3) netted the game-winner with 13:23 remaining to edge the Cardinals 2-1. With the win, the second-seeded and defending NESCAC Champions advance to the semifinals, while Wesleyan will wait to hear about an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.

"We played a very good game against yet another top-ranked team," expressed head coach Eva Meredith. "Sometimes the smallest of details is the difference between a win and a loss. Overall we have made big strides as a team this season by building on last year's successes. It is tough to not advance in the Tournament, but we are hoping to have another shot when the brackets for the NCAA Championship are revealed in a couple of weeks."

HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Panthers jumped on the scoreboard 4:07 into the opening half. After a Cardinal foul 40 yards out, Eliza Robinson served a ball into the box that was headed down by a couple of different players. The loose ball found the foot of Simone Ameer, who volleyed a left-footed shot into the back of the net for the 1-0 early lead.
  • Wesleyan's best chance of the frame came in the 19th minute, but a bouncing shot by Remi Feuerman was corralled by Middlebury keeper Ursula Alwang.
  • The Panthers nearly doubled their lead in the final seconds of the frame when Gretchen McGrath ripped a crossing attempt that grazed off the crossbar and came down. The loose ball was collected by Ellie Greenberg, but her attempt was stopped by Cardinal goalie Sarah Hammond on the goal line.
  • After the halftime break, Wesleyan turned up the offensive pressure, netting the equalizer with 28:49 left in regulation on a give-and-go on the right sideline between Julia Meehan and Dani Milovanov. Milovanoz lofted the ball from 30 yards out towards the upper left corner, that Panther goalie Eva Shaw got a hand on, but the hard shot slipped through, making it 1-1.
  • The Cardinals nearly took the lead six minutes later, but a header attempt by Gianna Argento was thwarted by Sha on the right post.
  • Middlebury netted the game-winner in the 77th minute when Ellie Bavier one-timed a cross from Olivia Miller into the net for the 2-1 edge.
  • Wesleyan looked to tie the game in the final minute, but a tough-angled shot by Grace Devanny was stopped by Shaw to secure the win for the Panthers.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Hammond finished with two saves for Wesleyan.
  • Shaw made three stops in the final 59:23 of action to earn the win, while Alwang made a pair of saves in 30:37.