April 20, 2009

The Middlebury College men's lacrosse team picked up two more wins last week and have secured the top seed for the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. The Panthers will host a quarterfinal contest on Sunday, April 26th at 1:00 p.m. and would host the semifinals and finals the following weekend with a win.

Middlebury picked up a non-league road win, earning an 18-15 win at Skidmore on Tuesday. The third-ranked Panthers improve to 10-1 overall, while the Thoroughbreds fall to 6-5. The game was tied 5-5 at the end of the first quarter and Skidmore led 9-8 before Middlebury senior Tom Petty (Newburyport, Mass.) scored with three seconds to go in the second to tie it 9-9 at the break.

Petty's goal would be the first of eight straight for the Panthers who built a 16-9 lead before Skidmore's Ben Cornell scored with 11:42 to play in the fourth quarter to end the run. Middlebury scored the next two to open it back up to 18-9.

The Thoroughbreds then mounted a comeback, scoring three goals in 23 seconds and five goals in 2:18 to get within three 18-15 with 2:15 to play. The Panthers were able to hold on for the three-goal win.

Matt Levesque started the late run, scoring from Cornell at 4:33. The Thoroughbreds won the faceoff and Cornell scored from Nick Coppola at 4:17. Levesque scored off the faceoff from Coppola at 4:10. Coppola then made it 18-14 from Cory Barkoff at 2:25 and Levesque found Rob Lutin alone in front at 2:15 for the 18-15 final.

Levesque finished with six goals and three assists. Cornell had four goals and one assist, Coppola two goals and five assists, and Barkoff had four assists and eight ground balls. Defender Scott Grillo had eight ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Senior Mike Stone (Boston, Mass.) led Middlebury with a career-high seven goals, including three in the Panther's 8-0 run. Senior Skyler Hopkins (Easton, Md.) scored three goals and had three assists and Petty finished with three goals and an assist. Senior Dave Campbell (Boise, Idaho) won 22 of 35 face-offs and had 12 groundballs.

Skidmore goalie Flip Bongaerts had 13 saves, while Middlebury senior Peter Britt (Summit, N.J.) stopped 12 shots.

Stone scored four goals including the game-winner with 26 seconds on the clock to lead Middlebury to a 12-11 win over Trinity in a battle of nationally ranked NESCAC teams on Saturday at Campus Field. Trinity, ranked 19th in the nation, falls to 10-4 overall and 4-4 in the NESCAC while the third-ranked Panthers improve to 11-1 overall and 7-1 in the league.

Petty put Middlebury on top with the game's first goal within the first minute of action. Trinity would score four of the next five goals, including two from Connor Hustava to take a 4-2 lead.

The Panthers did not see another lead since jumping on top 1-0, until the final period when junior Chris Teves (Wellesley, Mass.) broke a 9-9 tie with 8:51 remaining. Stone would follow up with a goal before Trinity's Thomas Rogers brought the Bantams within one, setting up Harper Cullen for the game-tying tally with 2:34 left.

Britt made seven saves in net for the Panthers as Graham Fadden made 12 saves for the Bantams. Hustava finished the game with three goals and an assist and sophomore Max Alderman had a goal and four assists to lead Trinity.
. Men's lacrosse record: 11-1
. Up next: 4/24 vs. Williams - 4:30, 4/26 vs. TBA - NESCAC Quarterfinals - 1:00