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Middlebury Battles it Out at the Panther/Cardinal Classic

Hi Everyone! I’m Laura Pinsent but most people just call me LP.  I’m from Labrador City, Newfoundland, and I’m one of the 3 Canadians on the Middlebury team.  Like Jenn and Maddie, I’m a sophomore and I am majoring in Psychology and History.  November is always one of the most exciting months of the year because we start our official practices (as Maddie talked about in her post) and also start playing games! 


We play in the New England Small College Athletic Conference or NESCAC for short, and league games started on November 18th.  This season, the NESCAC is using a new format for scheduling games, so instead of playing two different teams each weekend, we now play the same team back to back.  We travelled to Colby for our opening weekend, which is about 6 hours away.  I love starting the season on the road because it gives the team a chance to be together, without any other distractions. For example, I may have “accidently” forgot to pack my statistics homework … just kidding!


Our first game against Colby was at 7pm on Friday night.  We usually arrive at the rink at 5, and start warming up as a team at 5:30.  After warming up and stretching, players tend to do their own specific routine.  Before getting dressed, a couple of us play hacky sack, which is always a laugh.  I’ll be honest, I’m awful at it, but I’m improving … slowly! Luckily we can always count on Becca’s (another one of our goalies) long legs to keep the game alive and reach the hacky sack whenever it’s about to fall in the middle of the circle!  


The first game against Colby was a nail-biter. We were only able to score twice in regulation, despite firing 57 shots at their net.  The game was tied 2-2 at the end of the third, so it went into overtime.  Two minutes into overtime Maggie Melberg capitalize on our 59th shot of the game.  What an exciting (and suspenseful) way to kick off the season!   In the next contest, we were able to capitalize on more of our chances, and left Colby on Saturday night with two wins under our belt!


The excitement continued through the next week, with the Panther/Cardinal classic.  Instead of going home for Thanksgiving, the team opted to stay on campus and practice in preparation for the games.  We had Thanksgiving dinner together at one of the social houses on campus. Two of our seniors, Jamie and McKenzie, did an amazing job hosting and cooking the majority of the meal.  The rest of the team helped out with the cooking, and pitched in with a few desserts and appetizers.  It was a great night! 


The Panther/Cardinal classic provides an opportunity for us to see how we stand in comparison to some of the best teams in the country.  Unfortunately, we lost to Elmira in a shootout, but it was a great all around team effort.  The next day we arrived at the rink with one goal in mind, to be “1 and 0” at the end of the day.  Plattsburgh scored first, but we battled back with 4 unanswered goals to seal the win. 


That’s all for now, but stay tuned to hear about our first home games against Trinity and Manhattanville!


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