Trinity (Conn.) uses late goal to edge past Middlebury in conference action
HARTFORD, Conn. -- Junior attacker Shea Kusiak scored with 1:54 left in the game to break a 9-9 tie and lead Trinity (Conn.) to a 10-9 victory against visiting Middlebury in New England Small College Athletic Conference action Saturday on Robin Sheppard Field. Defending national champion Trinity, ranked No. 1, broke its consecutive win record with its 19th victory in a row, while improving to 11-0 overall and 7-0 in the NESCAC. Middlebury, ranked No. 3, fell to 10-1 overall and 7-1 in the league.
Trinity got off to a fast start, as senior attacker Hadley Duncan scored two goals within the first five minutes. Middlebury senior Emma Kramer answered with a goal before Trinity senior Kaitlin Hildebrand netted two more to put Trinity up 4-1. Trinity built up a 7-3 lead in the first half, but junior Liza Herzog scored with 2:11 left in the period to cut the Trinity lead to 7-4 heading into intermission.
Trinity opened the second half with a goal and Middlebury responded, before Trinity scored again to go up 9-5 on a score by sophomore Molly Cox with 17:28 left. Middlebury senior Alice Pfeifer responded with back-to-back goals to cut the Trinity lead to 9-7 with 8:15 left. Kramer then followed up with two goals of her own, the second of which came on a wide open look at the net to tie game at nine.
After a Trinity timeout, rookie Martha Griffin rifled a shot to the bottom left corner of the net with less than three minutes on the clock, but Middlebury junior goalie Alyssa Palombamade a clutch save to keep the game tied. With 1:54 remaining, Hildebrand made a pass to Kusiak, who caught the ball in front of the net and fired it in the back of the net, which proved to be the game-winning goal for the Bantams.
Hildebrand, Duncan, Coz, and senior tri-captain Meghan Leonhard scored two goals apiece for Trinity, and Hildebrand also added a pair of assists. Kramer scored three goals and Pfeifer scored two to lead the Panthers. Trinity senior tri-captain Olivia Whitney made four saves to earn the win in net, while Palomba finshed with six saves in net for Middlebury.