March 23, 2009

A six-goal first quarter propelled Middlebury past visiting Springfield 11-7 on Wednesday on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium, marking the first time a lacrosse game was played on the new FieldTurf surface. Middlebury has won 10 of the last 12 games against the Pride (2-3) and hold a 26-10 lead in the series.

During the first 7:15 of the first quarter Springfield didn't attempt a shot as the Panthers built a 3-0 lead. Middlebury added another goal for a 4-0 advantage. The run started with a hard shot by junior Chris Teves (Wellesley, Mass.) that snuck inside the far post at the 13:38 mark. Panther senior face-off specialist Dave Campbell (Boise, Idaho) won each face-off setting up the first three Middlebury goals. Senior Mike Stone (Boston, Mass.) capped the run, ripping a 15 yarder past Springfield netminder Tom Albano with 10:42 left.

The Pride got on the board when Kyle Louder bounced one past Panther senior keeper Peter Britt (Summit, N.J.) at the 7:04 mark of the first. Campbell answered almost immediately, winning another face-off and driving to Albano's doorstep for an in-close goal and a 5-1 lead. Teves capped the first quarter with his second goal of the day, giving Middlebury a 6-1 lead after one quarter.

Middlebury's lead grew to 8-2 in the second as senior Tom Petty (Newburyport, Mass.) scored a man-up tally at the 7:01 mark. Springfield rallied, scoring the next three, including the first goal of the third quarter when Kyle Gable scooped up an errant shot in front of Britt, for an in-close tally, cutting the Panther lead to 8-5 with 9:53 remaining. Both teams exchanged goals later in the third, setting the score at 9-6 at the end of three quarters of action.

Pat Cavanaugh cut the lead to 9-7 to start the fourth for the Pride as he drove in right in front of Britt for a score with 11:03 left on the clock. With 5:50 left, Stone gave Middlebury some breathing room, scoring a man-up goal with a left-handed shot. Junior Matt Virtue (Rye, N.Y.) added an insurance goal giving the Panthers an 11-7 lead with 3:24 remaining, thwarting any Pride comeback.

Stone, Teves and Campbell led a balanced Middlebury attack, scoring two goals apiece, as junior Pete Smith (Wilton, Conn.) added three assists for the Panthers. Joe Macchi scored a pair for Springfield as Mike Delia scored one and assisted on another. Britt earned the win for Middlebury, stopping nine shots and making seven saves. Albano suffered the loss in net for the Pride, stopping 11 shots while allowing 11 goals.

Trailing 4-3 in the second quarter, Middlebury went on a 6-0 run en route to an 11-8 NESCAC victory over Conn. College on Saturday at Alumni Stadium. During the run, the Panthers held the Camels scoreless for nearly half the game.

Conn. College struck first when Mark Mangano, cutting to his right, scored at the 5:16 mark in the first quarter. The Camels zone defense held the Panthers at bay until Petty scored his first of his game-high four goals with 3:52 remaining. Senior Matt Ferrer (Darien, Conn.) gave Middlebury their first lead with 1:42 left, collecting a pass from Virtue on the doorstep for the point blank tally. Britt made an acrobatic stop on a man-up shot by a Conn. attackman from close range, preserving Middlebury's 2-1 lead in the waning seconds of the first.

After another impressive in-close save by Britt on another man-down opportunity, the Camels finally tied the game at two apiece. Steve Dachille grabbed a groundball and raced in for a transition goal with 12:32 remaining, knotting the game at two all. Ferrer answered less than a minute later for the Panthers, converting off a Conn. College turnover before the Camels got back-to-back goals from Ben Eischen and Ryan Hayes for their 4-3 lead with 9:00 remaining in the second.

Middlebury began their six-goal run when Petty, standing right in front of Camel goalie Mark Moran, faked a high shot and slipped a low one past Moran for the equalizer with 6:44 left. Sophomore David Hild (W. Hartford, Conn.) netted back-to-back scores before Stone added another in the final minute of the half for a 7-4 lead at intermission. Petty added a pair of goals to cap the run in the third quarter, including a driving bounce shot at the 3:21 mark for a 9-4 advantage. Petty's final tally forced the Camels out of their zone into a man-to-man defense for the remainder of the game.

Conn. College ended a 28:30 scoreless drought when defenseman Kevin Ford scored a transition goal at the 10:30 mark in the fourth quarter. Senior Skyler Hopkins (Easton, Md.) sandwiched a pair of Panther goals around Dachille's second goal of the game later in the fourth, extending Middlebury's lead to 11-6 with 5:15 remaining in the game. The Camels scored the final two goals of the game, including a man-down goal by defenseman Will Schuman with 38 seconds on the clock, ending the scoring at 11-8 in favor of the home standing Panthers.

Petty led all scorers with four goals as Hild chipped in a pair with an assist. Hopkins and Ferrer added two goals apiece as Virtue assisted on two more for Middlebury. Dachille and Eischen each scored a pair of goals for Conn. College, while Ryan Hayes scored one and assisted on another. Britt earned the win for Middlebury, stopping seven shots and allowing eight goals, while Moran suffered the loss, making 15 saves and allowing 11 goals in net for the Camels.
. Men's lacrosse record: 3-1
. Up next: 3/24 VS. W&L @ Catholic Univ., 3/28 vs. Colby - 12:00