by Roger Wistar
Grace Jennings '15 and the Middlebury field hockey team culminated perhaps the finest season in school history with an NCAA Division III national championship on Nov. 19.
The Panthers survived a tough 2-1 overtime victory against Franklin & Marshall in the semifinals, and then blanked Messiah 4-0 to win the title.
Jennings, a forward in her junior year, proved to be critical to the tournament run, scoring goals in the second round, the semifinals, and the championship game. She was rewarded for her stellar play by being named to the all-tournament team.
The four-game run was a coronation for a spectacular season for Middlebury, which saw it also capture the NESCAC conference tournament and tie a school record with 20 wins on the season.
Jennings also enjoyed a superb individual season, leading the team in assists (15) and finishing second in goals, points, shots, and shots on goal. She earned a spot on the All-NESCAC First Team, after receiving second-team honors last year and being named the rookie of the year as a freshman.
At Hotchkiss, Jennings played four seasons each of varsity field hockey and ice hockey, serving as captain of both teams in her senior year. As a senior, she earned the Neil H. Scott Field Hockey Prize, the Melissa Goss Simonds '79 Hockey Award, and the Carole S. Hawley '75 Award.