April 12, 2010

With an early 2-1 lead over visiting Amherst, Middlebury went on a 5-0 run en route to a 14-6 win over the Lord Jeffs at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium on Wednesday. With the win, the 12th ranked Panthers extend their winning streak over Amherst to 24 straight games. During the penalty-free game, Middlebury held a 48-28 groundball advantage over the Jeffs.

            Lightning in the area delayed the 4:30 p.m. start for 20 minutes, but it was the Panthers that struck quickly, netting two goals in the first 1:16 of action. Senior Pete Smith (Wilton, Conn.) set up both goals, including a quick strike by rookie Brian Foster (Medfield, Mass.) 16 seconds into the game. Thomas McDonnell cut the lead to 2-1 for Amherst at 4:07 in the first, collecting an in close feed from Evan Redwood.

            The Panthers went on their decisive 5-0 run with 2:20 left in the quarter when senior Bart Witmer (Greenwich, Conn.) dodged off the right side for a driving goal at the doorstep. Sophomore Peter Jennings (Wellesley, Mass.) took the ensuing faceoff for Middlebury, collected the ground ball and scampered in for a 4-1 lead six seconds later. Smith collected his game-high third assist 36 seconds later on a doorstep feed to Scott Redmond, ending the first quarter scoring at 5-1. Senior Matt Virtue (Rye, N.Y.) and junior David Hild (W. Hartford, Conn.) added unassisted tallies early in the second quarter, building a 7-1 lead with 10:30 remaining in the half. Both teams exchanged a pair of goals to close out the scoring as the Panthers took a 9-3 lead into intermission.

            Middlebury added a pair of goals in the third quarter sandwiched between a goal from Amherst's Cole Cherney for an 11-4 lead heading into the fourth. Amherst added another goal to start the final quarter before a three-goal burst by the Panthers put the game out of reach for the Jeffs. Hild, Smith and rookie Stew Kerr (Lake Forest, Ill.) each added a goal for a commanding 14-5 lead with 4:53 left in the game. Amherst's Dan Routh added his second goal of the game, getting a low shot past reserve junior goalie Charles Ward (Alexandria, Va.), who replaced junior starter Ryan Deane (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) late in the fourth quarter.

            Smith led Middlebury with two goals and his game-high three assists, as junior Andrew Conner (Alexandria, Va.) added two more goals with an assist. Hild chipped in two goals as eight other Panthers scored a goal in the win. Routh added a pair of goals and an assist and McDonnell also tallied two scores for Amherst. Deane earned the win in net for the Panthers, stopping 12 shots over 54:16 of action, allowing five goals, as Ward stopped a pair of shots over the final 5:44, allowing one score. Sam Jakimo played all 60 minutes in net for Amherst, stopping eight shots and allowing 14 goals.

            Trailing 2-1 late in the first quarter, Bowdoin went on a 7-1 run to pull away from Middlebury for an 11-6 victory on Saturday at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. With the win, the Polar Bears even their overall record at 5-5, while the Panthers fall to 5-3. The Polar Bears win crowds the NESCAC standings, as both teams, along with three other schools have 3-3 conference records. This was the only the second win in 14 tries for Bowdoin over the Panthers.

            A goal by Billy Bergner tied the game at two apiece at 3:48 in the first quarter, starting the decisive run for Bowdoin. The Polar Bears rattled off three more goals for a 5-2 lead before Hild laced a 15 yard shot past Bowdoin's goalie Chris Williamson at 7:43 in the second quarter. Bowdoin answered quickly as Gregory Kamford scored 15 seconds later off a feed from Matthew Egan. The Polar Bears tacked on two more tallies before the half for an 8-3 advantage at intermission.

            Hild opened the scoring in the third on an unassisted score at 12:58 on a driving shot to cut the deficit to 8-4. Bowdoin responded with another pair of goals later in the quarter, capped by a transition goal from George Negroponte at 5:19, for a 10-4 lead after three quarters.

            The Panthers battled back in the fourth, cutting the lead to 10-6 with 4:02 left on a Smith score. In the final minutes, Bowdoin controlled the ball and added a goal in the final seconds for the 11-6 win.

            Steve Thomas netted two goals for Bowdoin as Bergner added a pair and one assist, while Ben Chadwick and Russell Halliday added a goal with two assists. Hild led Middlebury with two goals, as senior Chris Teves (Wellesley, Mass.) chipped in a goal and one assist. Williamson played all 60 minutes for Bowdoin in net, making 12 saves, while Deane stopped nine shots in goal for Middlebury.

• Men's lacrosse record: 5-3

• Up next: 4/13 vs. Skidmore - 4:30, 4/17 vs. Trinity - 2:00