JUMBOS FALL, 2-0, TO MIDDLEBURY IN NESCAC CHAMPIONSHIP

COLLEGE WOMEN'S SOCCER FINAL SCORE
NESCAC Championship Game
Middlebury 2    Tufts 0

Tufts (14-3) 0 0 = 2
Middlebury (15-1) 2 0 = 2

SCORING: Molly Holmberg (Leah Cumsky-Whitlock) 30:51; Meg Bonney (unassisted) 35:50.

SAVES: T, Randee McArdle 8; M, Ali Connolly 5.

SHOTS: T, 7; M, 12.

CORNER KICKS: T, 5; M, 6.

MIDDLEBURY, Vermont - The Middlebury College women's soccer team gained an automatic berth in the NCAA Tournament on Sunday, downing Tufts in the inaugural NESCAC Championship match, 2-0. Pairings for the NCAA Tournament will be announced late tonight.

Playing on a windy and snow-covered Allan Dragone Field in Middlebury, the two teams traded early first-half chances. Tufts best opportunity came just over six minutes in, when junior Lynn Cooper (Wilton, CT) fired a shot from inside the box that forced Middlebury's Ali Connolly to make a diving stop. In the 19th minute, Middlebury's Haley Holmer intercepted an errant Jumbo pass and took a shot from the corner of the box that hit the crossbar.

The scoreless tie was broken at 30:51 when Holmer played a ball into the penalty area that resulted in a scramble in front of the net. Leah Cumsky-Whitlock fired from close range but was denied by Tufts junior keeper Randee McArdle (East Nassau, NY). The ball bounced loose, and Molly Holmberg pushed it over the goalline to give the Panthers a 1-0 lead. Just under five minutes later, Middlebury's leading scorer Meg Bonney took a shot from the top of the box that hit the post. She followed with the rebound, giving the Panthers a 2-0 edge before halftime.

A scoreless second half was highlighted by the strong play of Middlebury's defense, which has not allowed a goal
in its last 688 minutes of play, dating back to a 2-1 win at Williams on October 3rd.

Randee McArdle made eight saves in net for the Jumbos, while Ali Connolly produced her seventh straight shutout,
making five stops in net for the Panthers. Tufts now awaits word on whether they will receive an NCAA Tournament at-large berth.

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