November 24, 2008

The Panther men's soccer team saw its season come to an end with a 4-3 loss to Stevens on penalty kicks (1-1 tie) in an NCAA Sectional final contest. The Panthers end their season with a 15-2-4 record, second most wins in school history. The shootout loss for the Panthers is the first in its last four tries in NCAA play over the past two seasons.

After 110 minutes of play, the two teams were deadlocked at one apiece and a shootout was needed to determine who would advance to the national semifinals.

Middlebury shot first and Carr immediately gave the Ducks the advantage by making a diving save to his right on a Nolan Lincoln (Thetford, Vt.) shot. Jason Nachman put Stevens up 1-0 in the shootout for the second-straight night as he blasted a shot to the lower left past Middlebury's senior keeper Brian Bush (Madison, Wis.).

Rookie Otis Pitney (Washington, D.C.) pulled Middlebury even, but Pete Bednarsky came through with a perfect shot in the upper-right corner to put the Ducks on top, 2-1. Carr made another save, while Jeremy Lippel had a chance to give the Ducks a commanding lead but his shot to the middle left corner was stopped by Bush.

Brendan Campbell (New Canaan, Conn.) tied the shootout at two, before Stevens' Nolan Sandberg gave the Ducks a 3-2 lead by firing a laser into the top-right corner. First-year player Robbie Redmond knotted the score at three, but Moquin delivered with a perfect shot in the left corner on the final penalty kick.

Moquin played a huge game for the Ducks as he set up their first-half goal. Moquin controlled in his own zone and lofted a long lead pass to Terrence Johnson. Johnson gathered the ball just inside the right side of the box, held off the defender, and put a perfect shot across the goal into the left corner. It was Johnson's 14th tally of the season and ended a Middlebury streak in which the Panthers had not allowed a goal in 814 minutes (eight-plus games) of NCAA Tournament play.

Middlebury answered with a nice goal in the 64th minute of action. Sophomore Carson Cornbrooks (Williston, Vt.) controlled a loose ball just outside the top of the box on the right side. He lofted a pass to the left side of the goalie box where senior Baer Fisher (Kenilworth, Ill.) was there for the easy score.

Stevens ended the contest with a 12-11 edge in shots and a 5-3 advantage in corners. The two teams were very evenly matched as Middlebury outplayed the Ducks in the first half. The second half saw both teams get some strong chances, and the overtimes were controlled by the Ducks.

Carr ended the game with three saves for the Ducks, while Bush made four for the Panthers.

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA Sectional Finals with a 1-0 win over Carleton. Rookie Tyler Macnee (Williston, Vt.) recorded his 13th goal of the season at the 82-minute mark as it proved to be the game-winner for Middlebury. Fisher earned the assist on the goal, with a centering pass to Macnee for the tally. The assist was the 22nd of his career, tying the Middlebury record.

Carleton could not get a shot off in over 85 minutes of play, as the Knights were held to just one on the night. Bush earned the shutout for the Panthers, his 12th of the season and 26th of his career.
. Men's soccer final record: 15-2-4