MIDDLEBURY, Vt.- Sophomore Erin Nicholas (Scarsdale, N.Y.) scored with 4:30 left in regulation to lift top-ranked Middlebury College to a 2-1 win over fifth-ranked Babson College in non-conference field hockey action on Sunday afternoon at Kohn field.
With the loss the Beavers fall to 7-2 on the year, while the Panthers, who have won 23 straight games going back to last year, stay unbeaten at 7-0.
Sophomore Danielle Brown (Needham, Mass.) chipped in with a goal for the Panthers who got two saves from senior goalkeeper Megan Collins (Greenwich, Conn.).
Babson got on board first with its only shot of the opening period in the ninth minute of play. Off a breakaway, Tango maneuvered the ball into the circle and blasted it past Collins for her fifth tally of the year to give the Beavers a 1-0 lead. The Panthers answered back less than four minutes later though when Brown found the back of the cage with a shot from the top of the circle to tie the game at 1-1.
Middlebury attempted seven penalty corners and Riley made four saves to keep the game tied entering the half.
Riley came up with a pair of saves over the first 12 minutes of the second half, including a stop with her helmet on junior Emma Johns (North Andover, Mass.) shot off a penalty corner in the 47th minute. Middlebury attempted 12 shots in the second half and broke through with the go-ahead goal when Nicholas lifted the ball towards the upper right corner of the cage with 4:30 left on the clock.
Following a timeout by the Panthers, the Green and White had two late scoring chances but was unable to convert. First-year Lauren Curley (Stow, Mass.) missed wide in the 67th minute and classmate Quinn Greer (Providence, R.I.) had her attempt to tie the game pushed away by Collins less than 30 seconds later.
Middlebury finished with an 18-6 edge in shots and a 14-2 advantage in penalty corners in the game.
Both teams return to action on Wednesday as Babson hosts Bates at 6 p.m., while the Middlebury travels to Skidmore for a 4 p.m. match.
• Babson is 1-6 all-time against the Panthers.
• The Beavers are 9-7 against nationally-ranked opponents going back to the start of 2015.
• Babson is 32-4 in the month of September going back to 2015.
• Including today's match, five of the last seven games between the Beavers and Panthers have been decided by a single goal.