DUDLEY, Mass. — Middlebury will make its first appearance in the NCAA championship game since 2007 after a 3-0 win against Bowdoin in a semifinal contest. The Panthers will take on TCNJ. The NCAA championship game is slated for 1:00 p.m. on Sunday.
Middlebury came out strong in the first 10 minutes, with a penalty corner before Lauren Greer had her shot go wide left at the 10:51 mark. Bowdoin came back with a strong five-minute spurt, earning three penalty corners, with no quality scoring opportunities.
After a violation, the Panthers were awarded a second consecutive penalty corner at the 21:35 mark. Charlotte Gardiner injected to Catherine Fowler, who took a quick dribble and ripped a shot on goal. Lucy Jackson was open in front, deflecting the shot into the top of the cage for a 1-0 lead at the 21:35 mark. The goal was the second of the year for Jackson.
Middlebury continued to pressure and doubled their lead with 3:07 remaining in the first half. Gardiner carried the ball into the area before getting a quick pass to Greer who turned and flipped a reverse stick shot high into the cage.
The Panthers ended the first half with a 9-4 shots advantage, with Bowdoin holding a 4-3 edge in penalty corners.
Bowdoin turned up the pressure early in the second half, earning five penalty corners between the 40th and 46th minutes. Shortly after a Middlebury penalty corner, Elinore O’Brien drove 20 yards to the goal with some nice stick-work, scoring her fifth of the season to make it a 3-0 game at the 50:56 mark.
The final 20 minutes featured back and forth action, with neither team mustering up a quality scoring chance. Becca Shaw made two saves in goal for Middlebury to earn the win, stopping both of Bowdoin’s shots on goal in the game. Kayla Lessard finished the contest with four saves for the Polar Bears.
Middlebury held a 14-9 shots advantage, owning eight shots on goal to a pair from Bowdoin. The Polar Bears had a 10-8 advantage in penalty corners.
The loss broke a 26-game winning streak for Bowdoin, dating back to October of 2010. The Polar Bears end the season with 13 goals allowed, seven of them coming at the hands of Middlebury. The victory for the Panthers was just its second in the last 14 games between the schools, including five post-season meetings.