Sixth-ranked Middlebury cruises past Williams to clinch NESCAC top seed
No. 6 Middlebury clinched the top seed for the upcoming NESCAC tournament with a 4-1 road win at Williams on Sunday.
Williams took a 1-0 lead 4:15 into the contest when Cristina Bravi registered an unassisted goal after beating her defender.
Middlebury tied the game six minutes into the second period when Heather Marrison scored to make it a one-goal tie. Her shot from the point made its way past Eph keeper Chloe Billadeau (45 saves).
The Panthers made it a 2-1 game with a power-play goal at the 13:33 mark. After a face-off win, Molly Downey found teammate Katie Sullivan, who sent a high shot over Billadeau's right shoulder.
The lead grew to 3-1 at the six-minute mark of the third when Lauren Greer set up Madison Styrbicki for Middlebury’s second power-play goal.
Looking to slice the Panthers lead in half and create a comeback effort, Williams pulled Billadeau from the net with 1:55 to go. However, a shorthanded empty netter from Emily Fluke at the 18:37 mark put the game out of reach for Williams, making it a 4-1 final.
Middlebury held a 49-32 shots advantage in the game, getting 31 saves from Annabelle Jones to pick up the win.
The Panthers (15-5-2, 12-2-2) will host a quarterfinal game on Feb. 23 and have earned the right to host the championship weekend on March 2-3 with a quarterfinal win.