October 22, 2012

Middlebury saw its four-game unbeaten streak come to an end, suffering a 2-0 loss at home to Bates (4-7-2, 1-6-1). The Panthers (6-5-1, 3-5-1) wrap-up their regular season at Williams on Wednesday, before hitting the road for a NESCAC Quarterfinal game Saturday.

Middlebury looked to get on the board in the 23rd minute with a free kick from the 18, but the shot by senior Jack Freeman (Ridgewood, N.J.) went into the wall and was cleared away. The Panthers had another free kick in the 28th minute, with sophomore Harper Williams’ (Charlotte, N.C.) shot sneaking through the wall and just missing the goal. Panther senior captain Jon Portman (Fair Haven, N.J.) saw his first action of the season late in the first half, in likely his final home game.

Bates took a 1-0 lead at the 52:05 mark with a free kick from the right side by John Murphy. The shot was a low curving blast that skipped once and found its way into the back of the net.

The Panthers looked to tie the game in the 72nd minute as a header from rookie Deklan Robinson (Hamilton, Mass.) after service from junior Graham Knisley (Wakefield, R.I.) went just over the crossbar.

Bates gained some breathing room not long after, with the second of the game from Murphy at the 73:34 mark. After taking a nice ball from Ethan Hirshberg, Murphy broke in one-on-one and scored with a shot that just caught a piece of Panther senior goalkeeper Zach Abdu-Glass (Lexington, Mass.).

Joe Maffly-Kipp finished the game with four saves to earn the win for Bates, as the Panthers held an 8-4 shots advantage and a 4-0 margin in corner kicks.

• Men’s soccer record: 6-5-1

• Up next: 10/24 @ Williams, 10/27 vs. TBA @ NESCAC Quarterfinals – 12:00