NOTRE DAME, Ind. -- Player of the Game Amelia Noble (Sr., Columbus, Ohio) combined with her sister Olivia Noble (So., Columbus, Ohio) for three goals to account for 75% of their team's offense as No. 12 Middlebury College edged Cornell University 4-1 to tie for 13th place at the 2011 Women's National Collegiate Club Championship at the University of Notre Dame's Rolfs Aquatic Center.
Due to a 16-team field requiring significant playing time to finish out the full-number of slots in the bracket, and to minimize the quantity of missed class time by student-athletes participating in the championship, the 13th and 15 place spots in the field are not played out unless two pools are available at the site of the championship. Last season, the 13th and 15th spots were played to a conclusion as the University of Arizona possessed two pools, recreation and varsity facilities, that allowed each team to receive four games.
Middlebury did not appear to be destined to down Cornell in the game as the Big Red opened the scoring with a marker by Yiwen Ng (Jr., Singapore) with 3:07 left in the first period for the only offense in the seven minutes of play.
After being held to under five shots in the first period, the Panthers finally found their offensive finesse in the second quarter thanks to a five-meter penalty shot by Amelia Noble at 5:17 for the equalizer before Olivia Noble tallied the eventual game-winner with an even-strength frozen rope at the 4:24 mark.
Amelia Noble tacked on a man-up goal at 5:28 of the third period for insurance before Andrea Tibbetts (Fr., Dover, Mass.) further padded the lead with 4:52 left in the fourth period for the 4-1 final score.
A key to the game was Middlebury's ability to stymy Cornell's man-up offense as the Panthers blanked the Big Red when playing with a deficit holding their opponent to a one-for-seven performance.
In cage, Betty Dembicer (Sr., Hartsdale, N.Y.) registered six blocks to grab the win for Middlebury, while Karen Swetland (Gr., Cooper City, Fla.) suffered the loss with seven saves.
It marks the first time Middlebury has placed 13th in the tournament standings following 12th (2010), 11th (2006) and eighth (2008). In addition, this is the second time that the Panthers and Big Red faced-off at a National Collegiate Club Championship as Middlebury picked up a 9-6 win in the opening round of the 2006 tournament at Northwestern University.
Cornell claims its third 15th place finish in as many trips to the National Collegiate Club Championship as the Big Red previously competed at the 2006 (at Northwestern) and 2005 (at Texas A&M University) tournaments.
|No. 12 Middlebury College
Middlebury Goals: Amelia Noble (2); Olivia Noble; Andrea Tibbetts
Saves: Cornell - Karen Swetland (7) ; Middlebury - Betty Dembicer (6)
Exclusions: Cornell - 9 ; Middlebury - 7
Advantage Opportunities: Cornell - 0-for- 7; Middlebury - 2-for-9
Officials: Mike McMahan, JT Wall
Cornell University's Diana
Foster looks to pass around Middlebury College's Amelia Noble