BABSON PARK, Mass.—Top-ranked Middlebury College scored a pair of first-quarter goals on the way to defeating No. 18 Babson College, 2-0, in non-conference field hockey action on Sunday afternoon at MacDowell Field.
Babson, which had its four-game winning streak snapped, dips to 4-2 on the year, while two-time defending national champion Middlebury improves to 5-0.
Junior Meg Fearey (Sudbury, Mass.) and senior Julia Richards (Newtown Square, Pa.) each had a goal for the Panthers, who got five saves from sophomore goalkeeper Grace Harlan (Groton, Mass.).
Riley came charging out of the crease to deny a breakaway attempt by Middlebury first-year Katie George (North Kingstown, R.I.) just 43 seconds into the contest, while Hanlon kicked away a close-range shot by Beavers' sophomore Quinn Greer (Providence, R.I.) in the sixth minute to keep the game deadlocked. The Panthers jumped on top at the 8:41 mark of the first quarter when Fearey scored her second goal of the season following a scramble in front of the cage. Hanyon made a pair of defensive saves, but Fearey pulled the ball out of traffic and jammed a shot inside the right post to make it 1-0.
The Panthers doubled their advantage less than five minutes later when Richards cleaned up the rebound of a shot by senior Kelly Coyle (Cranbury, N.J.) for her first marker of the year. Hanlon made a kick save on Babson senior Kate Driscoll (Milton, Mass.) six minutes into the second quarter, and made back-to-back stops on seniors Tori Roche (Andover, Mass.) and Cate Diamond (Hingham, Mass.) in the first minute of the fourth to help Middlebury maintain its two-goal advantage.
The Beavers had one more late chance to get on the scoreboard after sophomore Lauren Curley (Stow, Mass.) intercepted a pass deep in Panther territory, but her breakway attempt was denied thank to a sliding save by Harlan with 1:14 to play in the game.
Middlebury held a 14-8 edge in shots, while the Beavers finished with a slim 6-4 advantage in penalty corners.
Both teams return to action next Saturday as Babson hosts MIT in its NEWMAC opener at 12 p.m., while Middlebury takes on Hamilton at 11 a.m.
• The Beavers are now 1-7 all-time against Middlebury.
• Babson was blanked on Sunday for the first time since a 1-0 NCAA Tournament loss to Husson in 2017 – a stretch that spanned 26 games.
• Prior to Sunday the Beavers had allowed just one first-quarter goal over its first five matches.