Women's Soccer Set to Host Middlebury Wednesday

Women's Soccer Set to Host Middlebury Wednesday

CASTLETON, Vt. – The Castleton women's soccer team (6-6-1) will open a five-game homestand to conclude the regular season when it hosts intrastate rival Middlebury (8-2-1) in a non-conference contest Wednesday at 7 p.m.

Castleton is coming off a pair of shutout victories against Thomas and UMaine-Farmington last weekend. The Spartans defeated Thomas, 4-0, before scoring two late goals to down UMaine-Farmington, 2-0, on Sunday. Rylee Nichols scored three of the team's six goals last week, while Kiley Baran played 135 minutes of shutout soccer on her way to two more victories in goal.

Nichols leads the Spartan offense with 21 points on 10 goals and one assist. The freshman has found the back of the net in seven of her last nine games, including five goals in her last five matches. Makenzi Bellando has been a strong offensive spark for the Spartans with six goals and four assists for a total of 16 points. Bronwen Hopwood has four goals to go with four assists on her way to 12 points, while freshman Julia Carone has recorded 10 points on four goals and two assists. 12 different Spartans have registered a goal this season, contributing to an offense that averages 2.69 goals per game.

The Spartans' defensive end is averaging 1.35 goals allowed per game. Baran anchors the squad in goal with a stellar 0.95 goals-against average to pair with a .826 save percentage. The senior has two shutouts in nine starts on her way to a 6-3 overall record. Freshman Rachel Shambo has also seen action in goal with a 2.18 goals-against average and .759 save percentage in five games played.

Middlebury enters the matchup on a five-game winning streak after most recently defeating Wesleyan, 2-1, in overtime. Eliza Van Voorhis notched the game-winning goal with 10 seconds remaining in the first overtime period to lift the Panthers to victory.

Van Voorhis leads the offense with 11 points on five goals and one assist. Sabrina Glaser and Eliza Robinson each have tallied seven points on two goals and three assists, while Virginia Charman has five points on a pair of goals and an assist. Alex Barber has four points with a team-leading four assists on the season for the Panthers. As a team, Middlebury is averaging 1.64 goals per game.

The Panthers are well-balanced with a strong defensive unit averaging 0.70 goals against per game. Ursula Alwang anchors the squad with eight starts in goal and has posted a 0.75 goals-against average to go with her .806 save percentage. Alwang is 6-2-1 on the season with three shutouts, including two in her last three starts.

Middlebury defeated Castleton, 3-1, in the most recent meeting between the two teams last season Sept. 21, 2016.