The top-ranked Middlebury field hockey team set out to prove itself in the new campaign after back-to-back national championship seasons.
The Panthers took to Kohn Field for the first game of the season against in-state rival Castleton.
The Spartans and Panthers played 12 minutes of scoreless field hockey until the reigning NESCAC player of the year, Erin Nicholas, put Middlebury on the board with a fierce unassisted goal.
After that, the Panthers piled on and finished with an 8-0 win over Castleton.
The Panthers are back in action Saturday, September 7 with an away game at Wesleyan. Castleton plays that same day at Emmanuel at noon.