|Annie Burns had four saves in net for Bates.|
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. -- Middlebury remained unbeaten in its last six NESCAC games, as the Panthers (7-3-3) picked up a 2-0 win over the Bates women's soccer team on Saturday.
Bates (6-6-1, 2-5-1) has one game left in the regular season, at Colby on Friday, Oct. 29 at 3:30 p.m. The Bobcats have sole possession of eighth place in the NESCAC currently, and they will clinch a spot in the eight-team NESCAC Championship on Friday with a win or a tie against Colby, or a loss by Connecticut College against Wesleyan.
The Panthers (7-3-3, 4-2-2) wrap up their regular season next Friday at Williams, as they battle to secure home field for a NESCAC Tournament quarterfinal game.
Middlebury outshot Bates 14-2 in the first half, but could not find the back of the net. The Panthers kept the pressure coming in the second session, as Nora Tomlinson-Weintraub broke in on the right side and saw her shot skim the crossbar. Bates junior goalkeeper Annie Burns (Topsfield, Mass.) kept it a scoreless game at 67:30, tipping an attempt over the net after Scarlett Kirk got off a quick shot.
Middlebury broke through just seconds later, when Drew Smith scored her first of the season at 67:54. After an initial shot by Maddy Boston was blocked by a defender, Smith controlled the rebound in the box and finished for the 1-0 lead.
The Panthers extended their lead late in the game, when Rachel Madding netted her second of the year with 3:38 left to play. Katie Ruymann took a blast on a restart from 25 yards out that hit the crossbar, with Madding there to gather the rebound and finish.
Lauryn Torch ended the game with three saves to earn her fourth shutout of the season, while Burns finished with four saves for Bates.