March 30, 2009

Middlebury went on a six goal run, breaking open a 7-7 game against Colby for a 15-10 NESCAC victory on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium on Saturday. The Panthers took the lead four times in the first half, only to see the Mules fight back to tie the contest each time. The 11th ranked Panthers improve to 5-1 overall and 3-1 in conference, while the Mules even their conference record at 2-2 and fall to 5-3 overall.

Middlebury earned two one-goal leads in the first quarter that were erased by Colby's Whit McCarthy each time, including the 2-2 equalizer with 2:42 left. Senior Matt Ferrer (Darien, Conn.) scored the next two goals for the Panthers, both in the final minute of the first, for a 4-2 advantage.

Ten goals were scored in the second quarter as Mule defenseman James Brady got the first one in transition less than 20 seconds into the stanza, while teammate Patrick Briody tied the game at four apiece on a physical move to the crease at the 13:30 mark. Middlebury went on a 3-1 spurt, taking a 7-5 lead with 5:53 left. Rookie Tim Cahill (Glastonbury, Conn.) highlighted the burst, collecting a needle-threading pass from senior Mike Stone (Boston, Mass.) , capping the run. Colby answered one more time, as McCarthy scored his 24th goal of the season with 3:53 left, as Briody netted his second goal, tying the game with 2:46 remaining.

The Panthers started their 6-0 run late in the second, scoring a pair of goals including a transition tally by sophomore David Hild (W. Hartford, Conn.) off a great feed from junior Matt Virtue (Rye, N.Y.). Stone ended the ten-goal second quarter, ripping a shot from 12 yards out that got past Colby goaltender Alex Farmer for a 9-7 lead at the break.

In the third, senior Tom Petty (Newburyport, Mass.) racked up the next two goals of the run to start the quarter before senior Skyler Hopkins (Easton, Md.) and Ferrer ended the run with solo tallies for a 13-7 lead with 7:21 left. Colby answered with a three-goal outburst, highlighted by a pair from Caddy Brooks, cutting the Middlebury advantage to 13-10 at the 11:03 mark in the fourth quarter. Middlebury added a pair of insurance goals, as Petty netted his third of the game with 6:49 left on a man-up score, while Hopkins tacked on his game-high fourth goal with 5:45 left in the game.

Hopkins scored a game-high four goals, as Stone, Petty, and Ferrer each collected hat tricks for Middlebury. McCarthy led Colby with three goals and chipped in an assist, while Brooks scored two and assisted on a third. Senior keeper Peter Britt (Summit, N.J.) earned the win in net for the Panthers, stopping 12 shots, while Farmer takes the loss, stopping a dozen shots over 58:31 of play. Tom Gianakos relieved Farmer during the final 1:29, but did not see any shots on goal.

Middlebury handed sixth-ranked Washington and Lee its first loss of the season, as the 11th-ranked Panthers earned a 12-10 win in a neutral site game at Catholic University. The Generals (8-1) held a 5-3 lead at the break, but the Panthers (4-1) scored nine second-half goals, including five tallies in the opening 5:36 of the third quarter, to come away with their second straight win in the series.

Middlebury led 3-1 late in the first period, but four straight goals by W&L gave the Generals a 5-3 lead at halftime. The Panthers began the second half with a man-up goal by Hopkins off a feed from junior Pete Smith (Wilton, Conn.) just seven seconds into the period. Stone knotted the score (5-5) with an unassisted goal just 52 seconds later and then gave the Panthers a 6-5 lead with another unassisted goal at the 11:37 mark. A goal by Ferrer off another Smith feed at 10:14 and another goal by Stone gave Middlebury an 8-5 lead with 9:24 left in the third period.

The Generals then mounted a comeback, scoring three-straight goals to knot the score at 8-8 with 2:43 left in the period. Harry St. John began the barrage with an unassisted goal at 6:51. Tim Skeen followed with an unassisted goal at 5:13 and Seth Fishman tied the game with a goal off a feed from St. John at 2:43. However, Middlebury regained the lead (9-8) on a goal with 1:49 left in the third period and entered the final quarter with a 10-8 advantage. The Generals closed to within one goal twice in the final period, but could not find the equalizer.

Fishman paced the Generals with four goals, while St. John had two goals and one assist. Drew Koeneman notched two goals and Skeen had one goal and one assist. Connor Locke played all 60 minutes in goal and posted 13 saves.

Ferrer led the Panthers with four goals, while Stone had three goals and one assist. Hild added two goals and one assist and Smith had a game-high six assists. Britt played the duration in goal for Middlebury and made 11 saves.
. Men's lacrosse record: 5-1
. Up next: 4/1 @ Amherst, 4/4 @ Bowdoin