April 1, 2013

The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team topped Hamilton 6-5 in a midweek NESCAC contest, as the 11th-ranked Panthers improve to 6-0 overall and 4-0 in the conference. The 6-0 start is the best since the 2008 squad opened 9-0.

Hamilton took an early 1-0 lead when Pax Anthos drove to the crease with a lefty tally at 10:00 in the first quarter. Middlebury responded with three goals in the second quarter, starting with junior Quinn Cronin’s (Winchester, Mass.) equalizer at 11:37. After senior Andrew Metros (Kings Point, N.Y.) scored at 6:08, senior Mike Giordano (Ridgewood, N.J.) grabbed a ground ball in close for a quick shot and goal during a delayed penalty situation at 3:23.

The Panthers were about to take their 3-1 lead into the break, but a turnover in their offensive end in the final seconds of the half led to a speedy clear by Hamilton and a goal by Paul Armideo with :04 left on the clock for a 3-2 game at the break.

Hamilton’s ball-control, deliberate offensive game plan kept the ball out of top Middlebury scorer Jon Broome’s (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) stick for large portions of the contest. After each team traded goals in the third, Broome broke through, netting his 17th goal of the season. The rookie collected a doorstep feed from senior defenseman Billy Chapman (Greenwich, Conn.) for a transition goal with 20 seconds left in the third quarter, building a 5-3 lead.

The Panthers made it 6-3 in the fourth on a sophomore Joel Blockowicz (Potomac, Md.) goal off a nice dodge at 10:44. Hamilton did not disappear, scoring the next two goals in the final minutes, including a man-up tally by Luke Walsh with :52 left to play. Leading 6-5, Middlebury senior Brian Foster (Medfield, Mass.). won the decisive face-off and the ground ball. The Panthers advanced the ball into their offensive zone, where Giordano maintained possession weaving in and out of traffic for most of the final seconds, securing the win.

Middlebury distributed six goals to six different players as Chapman got the lone assist. Junior goalie Nate Gaudio (Cheshire, Conn.) made 10 saves in net for the win, as Foster won 10-13 face-offs, tying Giordano with a game-high five ground balls.

Armideo paced Hamilton with two goals, while Anthos added a goal and an assist to lead the Continentals. Will Driscoll took the loss in goal, making 13 saves.

Bowdoin goalie Christopher Williamson made a point-blank save on a shot by Broome as time expired, securing a 7-6 win at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium for the Polar Bears.

Bowdoin’s Franklin Reis broke a 1-1 tie with :03 on the first quarter clock with a wrap-around tally for a 2-1 lead. After Middlebury senior Stew Kerr (Lake Forest, Ill.) netted the equalizer at 14:30 in the second on a man-up goal, the Polar Bears scored the final three goals of the half, for a 5-2 lead at the break.

Dan Hanley started the run less than a minute after Kerr’s tally on a driving move to the crease. Billy Bergner notched his second of the game on a door step feed from Will Wise at 6:35. Wise followed with a man-up goal for the 5-2 advantage.

Middlebury opened the second as Foster won the opening face-off before Kerr found rookie Sean Carroll (Wilton, Conn.) for the quick-stick feed at 14:21. Leading 5-3, Bowdoin put two more on the board to close out the third, including Bergner’s hat-trick tally at 7:19, for a 7-3 lead.

In the fourth, Middlebury strung a trio of goals together, closing the gap to 7-6 as Kerr got it started at 12:53 off a feed from Carroll. Less than two minutes later, Giordano put a wrap-around past Williamson for a 7-5 game. At 2:08, Bowdoin called a timeout to set their defense after the ball went out of play during a Panther possession. Fifteen seconds later, Middlebury senior Scott Redmond’s (Essex Fells, N.J.) sweeping move and goal made it a 7-6 game with 1:53 left to play.

Bowdoin won the ensuing face-off and controlled the clock, but an errant pass resulted in a turnover with :28 left to play. Middlebury pushed the ball into their offensive end, launched a wide shot, but maintained possession. In the final seconds, Broome had the ball in the low slot, just a few feet from Williamson’s left side, but the on-target shot was stopped by Williamson as time expired.

Bergner’s hat trick paced Bowdoin, while Peter Reuter added a goal and two assists. Wise chipped in with a goal and one assist, as Maxwell Rosner nabbed a team-best four groundballs. Williamson earned the win in net, making 18 saves.

Kerr added two goals and an assist, as Carroll reversed that with two assists and a goal to lead Middlebury. Foster won 12-16 face-offs, collecting eight groundballs. Gaudio suffered his first loss of the season, stopping 15 shots.

• Men’s lacrosse record: 6-1

• Up next: 4/2 vs. N.E.C. – 4:30, 4/6 @ Amherst, 4/7 @ Tufts