Middlebury outscored Ithaca 7-2 in the second half on its way to a 14-7 win over the Bombers (11-7) in an NCAA Tournament first-round game on Kohn Field. The Panthers (11-5) advance to an NCAA Regional at Trinity on Saturday, where they will play the host school at 11:30 a.m. The winner advances to the regional final (quarterfinals) on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.
Middlebury came out flying, taking a 4-0 lead 6:22 into the game. Chase Delano set-up Stephanie Gill for a quick-stick goal before netting one of her own driving to the goal. Sally Ryan scored the next two to cap the quick start.
Ithaca's Tracy Rivas converted a free position goal at 22:55, before Gill answered from Delano with a goal much-like their first connection.
The Bombers came on strong, scoring the game's next three goals to make it a 6-4 contest. Rivas netted her second before Ali DeCirce found Nikki Dahl on a free position and then scored one of her own during the run. Middlebury answered with a pair before Nicole Borisenok scored for Ithaca to make it a 7-5 game at the half.
Middlebury took a comfortable lead early in the second half with three goals in the first 6:58. Gill scored with a sidearm shot, Ryan drove to the goal from the top of the zone, before Gill scored again, converting a pass from behind the net by Delano.
Rivas scored her third of the game cutting to the goal to end the Middlebury run, with DeCirce scoring her second at the 17:22 mark to make it a 10-7 game.
Four different players scored for Middlebury down the stretch, making it a 14-7 final.
Gill paced the team with five goals, followed by Ryan with three and Margaret Souther with a pair. Delano dished out a game-high three assists, while Hilary Walker finished the game with four caused turnovers. Alyssa Palomba made five saves in goal to pick up the win.
Rivas paced Ithaca with three, followed by DeCirce with a pair as Jess Worthman made nine stops between the pipes.