Spartans Fall to Reigning National Champions

Spartans Fall to Reigning National Champions

CASTLETON, Vt. – Middlebury, the 2017 Division-III National Champion, used goals from eight different players to defeat Castleton, 10-0, in a nonconference field hockey game on Wednesday.

The Panthers are now proprietors of a 17-game winning streak dating back to September 24 of 2017.

Grace Jennings scored twice in a minute and 33 seconds to give Middlebury a 2-0 lead. She tapped in a loose ball in front at the 5:57 mark before slamming home a rebound at 7:30 off a long shot from the outside of the circle.

A different goal scorer accounted for the next seven Middlebury goals as 21 Panthers participated in the game and totaled 40 shots (26 on goal), as Castleton's Tashia Pashby-Rockwood made 14 saves. Defenders Madison Langey and Ellie Gevry each had a defensive save for the Spartans.

Middlebury closed the first half with goals from Molly Freeman, Julia Richards, and Kelly Coyle to take a 5-0 lead into the break.

Then, in the second half, they scored five more. Erin Nicholas cut through the middle and put a shot in from range, Diana Milne took a long shot that beat Pashby-Rockwood, before Amanda Bozorgi connected a shot from ten yards out off the near post and into the cage to boost the Panthers' lead to eight with just over 20 minutes remaining in the second half.

Castleton applied more pressure the rest of the way, but Danielle Brown scored to make it 9-0 and Bozorgi's second of the game completed the scoring for the game at the 60:07 mark.   

Castleton's best threat to score came with just over two minutes remaining in regulation. Megan Ryan put a shot on target from the right side before Sarah Wells took a swing at it in a scramble in front. Grace Harlan, who played in goal for the final 22:13 for the Panthers, made both saves.

Cydney Jeffrey got a break on a turnover ten seconds later but narrowly missed the frame to the right. The exchange accounted for all three Spartan shots.

Nicholas had a game-high seven shots, with five on goal. She also assisted on one goal to end the game with three points. Freeman and Milne each also finished with three points.

Castleton returns to action on Saturday for their first conference matchup of the year at Western Connecticut State at 11 a.m.