The Hamilton College women's soccer team advanced to the 2017 NESCAC Championship semifinals by eliminating Middlebury College in a 1-0 victory on Saturday at Middlebury's Dragone Field.
The triumph marks Hamilton's (10-4-2 overall) first NESCAC postseason win since joining the conference for soccer in 2011, and the first victory over the Panthers since that same year. The Continentals have registered five straight shutout victories and have blanked 11 opponents this season.
Hamilton is ranked seventh in the NCAA Women's Soccer Division III New England Region this week.
Sixth-seeded Hamilton will face fourth-seeded Tufts at Williams College on Saturday, Nov. 4. Top-seeded Williams will play seventh-seeded Amherst after the Mammoths upset second-seeded Connecticut College 1-0 in another quarterfinal. The two semifinal winners will battle in the NESCAC Women's Soccer Championship final on Sunday, Nov. 5 with the winner receiving an automatic bid to the NCAA playoffs.
Maddie Dale '20 scored the lone goal of the match just 2:28 in after a failed clearing attempt by Middlebury. Dale gathered the ball just outside the penalty box, took one dribble to her right and blasted a shot toward the left post. The attempt clanged off the post, bouncing all the way across the goal mouth before crossing the line for Dale's first goal of the season and second of her Hamilton career.
The Panthers' (11-3-2) best scoring opportunity came in the 32nd minute. Virginia Charman fired a shot from 15 yards away toward the lower-right corner but Emily Dumont '18 made the diving save to preserve the lead.
Hamilton nearly doubled its advantage in the 67th minute when Katja Dunlap '18 ripped a shot from 18 yards toward the upper-right corner that Middlebury keeper Ursula Alwang (four saves) punched just over the crossbar.
Dumont made seven saves and tied a program record with her ninth shutout of the season. Caitlin McGilley '08 and Jen Munõz '04 share that single-season shutout record with Dumont.
The Panthers had a 17-9 shot advantage while Hamilton had the 4-2 edge in corner kicks.