Middlebury 3, Messiah 0

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Middlebury (18-1) will makes its second straight appearance in the NCAA Championship game after a 3-0 win over Messiah (20-2) at Westfield State College. The Panthers will take on Salisbury, a 2-1 overtime winner over William Smith, in the NCAA Championship game on Saturday at 3:00 p.m.

Messiah came out strong early, peppering the Panther net with several good shot in the first half. Middlebury ran the length of the field for a few offensive chances, but the Falcons went back to their offense quickly. A great defensive play by Janie Mackey at the 16:00 mark denied a solid scoring opportunity by Danae Chambers.

Messiah kept coming throughout the half, but Meghan McGillen held tough, keeping the Falcons off the board. Middlebury would be out shot 10-2 in the first half, but the second of their two shots was the most important as they took a 1-0 lead with just 1:04 left in the session. Allison Smith sent a ball in from the right side that went past the goalkeeper and to Ashley Lyddane, who was waiting on the far post. The senior swept the crossing pass into the cage to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead at the break.

Middlebury came out strong in the second half, controlling much of the play after struggling in the first half. Messiah had a couple great chances in the 24-minute mark, but McGillen made a pair of great pad saves on back-to-back scoring chances. The Panthers increased their lead to 2-0 at the 20:12 mark, with a goal after a scramble down low. The goal came on the Panthers second straight penalty corner, as Nina Daughtery put home a rebound after quick low feed from Lyddane.

The Panthers took a commanding 3-0 lead with 12:17 remaining, with Lyddanes second goal of the game. After a scramble in front, Lyddane gathered the ball from a shot that was stopped by a defensive save and put the rebound into an open net. That would be all the scoring as the Middlebury defense hung tough to earn the shutout.

Lyddanes goals were her team-leading 17th and 18th of the season, giving her 42 points in 18 games. McGillen was stellar in net, making 13 saves for her seventh shutout of the year. Middlebury was out shot 22-11 in the game, including 10-2 in the first half. Messiah also held a 27-10 edge in penalty corners.

-- Courtesy Middlebury