April 19, 2010

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team picked up a pair of wins in their final regular season home games of the season. On Saturday, Middlebury held visiting Trinity scoreless for the first 35:55 of the game, en route to a 9-2 win at Youngman Filed at Alumni Stadium. Both teams have three more games left on their schedules, including two pivotal NESCAC games that will determine NESCAC playoff seedings for both teams.

            While no goals were scored in the first quarter; a back and forth pace allowed 21 of the game's 64 clears and 20 of the game's 68 shots. The Panthers scored the first goal of the game with 2:50 remaining in the second when senior Pete Smith (Wilton, Conn.) grabbed a groundball off a failed Trinity clear deep in the Bantam zone and laced one from in close. Smith set up the next goal with 1:41 left, finding junior David Hild (W. Hartford, Conn.) from 12 yards out. Hild's shot deflected off a Bantam defender and rolled into the net for a 2-0 lead heading into intermission.

            Senior Jack Masur (Bethesda, Md.) extended the lead to 3-0 in the third on a rolling dodge to the crease at 13:52. Trinity ended its scoring drought at 9:05 on a man-up tally by Kevin Looby. Middlebury responded with a 4-0 barrage before Trinity scored their lone even-strength goal of the game with 29 seconds left in the third.

            Highlighting the run, Masur added a pair of goals, while Smith collected two assists. Leading 5-1, Masur's first tally began after an effective penalty kill, as the Panthers quickly advanced the ball for Masur's quick shot at 4:07. Masur capped the run on a shot that bounced in under the crossbar with 1:50 left in the third.

            With a 7-2 lead entering the fourth quarter, Smith had a hand in the final two goals of the game, setting up cutting junior Alex Giammarco (Medfield, Mass.) at 10:10, and an unassisted tally with 3:29 left.

            Smith ended the day with a pair of goals, and game-highs with all four Panther assists and eight groundballs grabs, while Masur collected a hat trick. Rookie Brian Foster (Medfield, Mass.) was solid in face-offs, winning 9/14 attempts on the day. Junior Ryan Deane (Grosse Pointe, Mich.) stopped 10 shots, allowing two goals, over the first 58 minutes in net for Middlebury, as junior Charles Ward (Alexandria, Va.) played the final two minutes without facing any shots on net.

            Looby and Jeff Hebert scored a goal apiece for Trinity. Peter Johnson played the first three quarters in goal for the Bantams, allowing seven goals while making nine saves. Dominic Piselli played the final quarter, allowing two goals with no saves.

            Leading 7-2, Middlebury held off a charge from visiting Skidmore en route to an 11-9 victory on Tuesday.

            Middlebury jumped out to a 3-0 lead after one quarter with goals from three different Panthers. Smith collected the first goal, catching a pass from rookie Mike Giordano (Ridgewood, N.J.) for a 1-0 advantage at 5:48. Just over a minute later, Giordano scored off a doorstep feed from classmate Erich Pfeffer (Glastonbury, Conn.). With 45 seconds left, senior Jeff Begin (Ipswich, Mass.) netted a score off a turnover deep in the Thoroughbred zone for a 3-0 lead.

            Skidmore cut the lead to 4-2 at 9:56 in the second before the Panthers pumped in the next three for a 7-2 lead with 4:33 left, capped by Pfeffer's driving shot from the left side. Skidmore answered with two goals, 27 seconds apart as Matt Levesque scored the second of his game-high four goals on a man-up tally off a pass by Cory Barkoff at 3:42. After the faceoff, Barkoff added his second goal of the game at 3:15, cutting the Panther lead to 7-4 heading into halftime.

            First-year player Scott Redmond (Essex Fells, N.J.) opened the third quarter with a man-up score for Middlebury at 10:30 before Skidmore scored the next three, cutting Middlebury's lead to 8-7. Ryan Paradis ended the run with a dazzling low shot, falling to the ground in front of the crease with 2:23 on the clock. Hild answered quickly for the Panthers with a physical drive for a top shelf tally 35 seconds later.

            Hild added the opening scoring in the fourth, giving Middlebury a 10-7 lead with a bounce shot from the left side at 14:00. The Skidmore tandem of Barkoff and Levesque added scores at 11:40 and 9:45 respectively, cutting the lead to 10-9. A slashing penalty on Skidmore with 6:09 remaining set up the final goal of the game, as Hild collected a sophomore Jack Balaban (Washington, D.C.) pass for a man-up goal at 5:53 for an 11-9 advantage. Deane was strong down the stretch, making three saves in the final minutes to preserve the win.

            Hild, who scored the final three goals for Middlebury, ended up with the hat trick and two assists on the day, as eight other Panthers chipped in a goal. Deane ended the day with 12 saves in net for Middlebury. Levesque paced the Thoroughbreds with a game-high four goals and one assist, while Barkoff added three scores and a pair of assists. Flip Bongaerts stopped 15 shots in net for Skidmore, allowing 11 goals. For the game, Middlebury held a 17-6 advantage in faceoff wins.

• Men's lacrosse record: 7-3

• Up next: 4/20 @ Rensselaer, 4/24 @ Tufts