MEN'S SOCCER WINS NCAA REGIONAL
November 17, 2008
The Middlebury College men's soccer team has advanced to the NCAA Sectionals for the second straight season. The defending NCAA Champions did so by defeating Framingham State and Norwich in an NCAA Regional on campus. The Panthers will meet Carleton (Minn.) in a sectional game, while Johns Hopkins meets Stevens, the host school, in the other match-up on Saturday, November 22nd. The NCAA Sectional final will take place on Sunday with a trip to the final four on the line.
Middlebury came out early with pressure against Norwich in the regional final, as the Panthers earned four corner kicks in the first eight minutes of the game. Senior Baer Fisher (Kenilworth, Ill.) had a good look in the 13th minute from the left side, but his shot was saved by Charles Maxwell. The Panthers continued to come at Norwich, increasing their total to 10 corner kicks through 25 minutes of play. Middlebury had its best chance of the half in the 35th minute, but a shot was just tipped over the crossbar by Maxwell. The half ended with the Panthers holding an 11-1 shots advantage, 13-0 in the corner kicks category.
Norwich's Rob Harlow helped the Norwich offense turn up the heat in the 58th minute, with a nice feed to Ryan Boyton who just missed the goal wide. Harlow saw his low hard shot from the left side denied by Middlebury senior keeper Brian Bush (Madison, Wis.) in the 60th minute, before his lofting shot went over Bush and the crossbar in the 71st minute of play.
The Panthers scored the game's only goal at 82:53 as Norwich was attempting to clear the ball out of the box. Rookie Robbie Redmond (Morristown, N.J.) played the ball off his chest and then quickly dodged a defender before ripping a low hard shot into the bottom left corner of the net for his second tally of the season.
Neither team would pose a real threat in the final minutes of play as the Panthers held on for the win. Bush made a pair of saves for his 11th shutout of the season and 25th of his career, a new Middlebury record. Maxwell made five saves in goal for the Cadets.
In their first match of the weekend, Middlebury and Framingham State battled to a scoreless tie through 110 minutes of action, with the Panthers advancing with 4-1 win in penalty kicks.
Middlebury controlled the contest throughout, holding a 25-4 advantage in shots on the afternoon. Framingham keeper Greg Halle was impressive in net, making 10 saves to earn his ninth shutout of the season. Bush was not forced to make any saves on the afternoon, but did clear some balls away from the crease area, while also stopping a penalty shot.
Despite their 25 shots on the afternoon, the Panthers rarely had great chances to score in regulation. Halle made a diving stop on Fisher early on, before he denied Tyler Macnee after a nice feed from Fisher in the eighth minute. Sophomore Carson Cornbrooks (Williston, Vt.) had the best chance to score for Middlebury in the first half, but his open look sailed over the crossbar.
The Rams had a solid opportunity on their first shot of the game 10 minutes into the second half, but Johnny Goncalves' shot was high. Middlebury's best chance to score came in the 66th minute with a flurry in front of the Framingham net. Redmond saw his shot saved, before Macnee's shot was denied, as the ball popped up into the air. Senior Allen Bourdon (Lyme, N.H.) got a solid header shot on goal, but Halle was able to get back into position and prevent the shot from going into the back of the net.
Middlebury turned up the pressure in the first overtime, but Halle made three saves to keep the game a scoreless tie. The best chance came when Fisher fed junior Micah Wood (Tacoma, Wash.), as his blast was saved by Halle.
Bush denied a Framingham corner kick in the second overtime, before Robert O'Doherty saw a hard shot go wide of the post. The Panthers had one last chance in the 107th minute, but Halle slapped away a corner kick feed.
Middlebury sophomore Harrison Watkins (San Francisco, Calif.) and Framingham's Brunno Goncalves converted their penalty kicks, before junior Nolan Lincoln (E. Thetford, Vt.) gave the Panthers a 2-1 lead. Jason Silva's shot sailed high for the Rams, before Bourdon converted with a shot off the hands of Halle to make it a 3-1 Middlebury lead. Bush denied Scott Faria with a diving save before first-year player Otis Pitney (Washington, D.C.) ended it with a shot to the top left corner.
. Men's soccer record: 14-2-3
. Up next: 11/22 vs. Carleton - 5:00 p.m. (NCAA Sectional @ Stevens), Stevens vs. Hopkins - 7:30, 11/23 - Sectional Final - 6:00 p.m.