2019-20 WOMEN'S HOCKEY preview

With four NCAA Quarterfinal appearances in the last five seasons, the Middlebury women’s hockey squad looks continue those successes with another deep playoff push in 2019-20. The Panthers finished with a 16-8-3 record last winter and played in the NESCAC Championship for the fourth-straight year. Middlebury enters the season ranked 10th in the USCHO.com preseason poll.

Head Coach Bill Mandigo

Head coach Bill Mandigo, entering his 32nd year on the Panther bench, has logged more wins than any other coach in women’s hockey history with a 577-155-45 record.

Madie Leidt

In the offensive end of the ice, Mandigo welcomes back a good mix of experienced players and more depth than in recent years. Junior Madie Leidt, an assistant captain this winter, was named a First-Team All-NESCAC selection following her 2017-18 NESCAC Rookie of the Year nod. A member of both special-teams’ units, she posted team-best totals with 11 goals and 25 points. She also tied for the conference lead with five game-winning goals.

Sidney Portner

Senior Sidney Portner finished her third year with 12 points on a pair of goals, including the game winner in the NESCAC Semifinals against Hamilton, to go along with 10 assists. She moved from a wing to the center position last season and is also a stalwart on the defensive end, registering a point in 12 games.

Jenna Letterie

Sophomores Jenna Letterie and Katie Hargrave, along with junior Ellie Barney, provide viable scoring threats up front after each skated in every game last season. Letterie was second on the team behind Leidt in goals (10). She added a trio of assists for 13 points. Hargrave began her collegiate career with the game-winning goal in the season-opening win at Trinity, followed the next night with a pair of scores. Hargrave finished her first winter with 11 points on seven goals and four assists. Barney tallied five goals and eight assists for 13 points as a sophomore, including four scores and seven helpers during NESCAC play.

Others who will see ice time on the forward lines will be juniors Morgan Griffin (2-2-4), Shayla Coates (1-1-2) and Meghan Keating (1-1-2), along with sophomore Ashley McDonald (1-2-3). Each player logged line shifts in at least 25 games last season.

Anna Zumwinkle

On defense, Middlebury returns an experienced group of players led by senior Anna Zumwinkle and junior Elise Park. Zumwinkle is a key player on both special teams’ units for the Panthers, as Middlebury surrendered just 10 goals in 69 opponent power-play chances against last winter. She ended her third season with 13 points behind five goals and eight assists. Zumwinkle also posted a goal in the NESCAC Championship game against Williams. Park skated in every contest with four assists, helping on the game-winning tally against UMass Boston.

Elise Park

Junior Alexis Ryan, along with sophomores Eva Hendrickson and Kiara Vazquez, each had solid years a season ago and played in every contest. Ryan was fourth on the team with 11 assists, including a pair against UMass Boston and one in the NESCAC Championship, while Hendrickson ended her season with four goals and a pair of assists. She assisted on scores during each of Middlebury’s NESCAC Tournament contests. Vazquez finished with a pair of assists for the Panthers.

Lin Han

Senior captain Lin Han, junior Anna Goldstein and sophomore Caroline Silk all return and will battle for the starting goalie spot. Han posted an 11-3-2 record last season with a 1.36 goals against average and a .935 save percentage to go along with three shutouts. Goldstein logged 11 starts last winter in the Panther crease. She posted a 5-5-1 record with a 1.20 GAA, good for second in the NESCAC. Her .947 save percentage was third among league peers and had a pair of shutouts.

This season, Middlebury faces another grueling schedule that boasts six opponents who received votes in the USCHO preseason poll. The Panthers open with a two-game road NESCAC series at Connecticut College on November 15-16. At the end of the month, Middlebury hosts the annual Panther/Cardinal Classic in Chip Kenyon ’85 Arena on November 30 and December 1 with Plattsburgh State, UW-River Falls and Adrian.