April 23, 2012

Middlebury exploded for 16 straight goals, cruising to an 18-4 non-league victory over Skidmore at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The 18 goals scored is a season-high for the Panthers (3-8), stopping an seven-game losing streak.

Middlebury opened a 5-0 lead as five different Panthers scored before junior Stew Kerr (Lake Forest, Ill.) notched his second of the game at 3:43 in the second quarter. Rookie Joel Blockowicz (Potomac, Md.) capped the first half off an over-the-cage feed from junior Mike Giordano (Ridgewood, N.J.) at 2:14 for a 7-0 lead.

Leading 10-0 in the third, Kerr notched his third of the game off a Giordano helper for an 11-0 advantage with 5:56 left. Giordano followed, scoring two of the next three for Middlebury for a 14-0 lead with 1:43 left in the third. Kerr collected his fourth of the game before junior Andrew Metros (Kings Point, N.Y.) capped the 16 goal barrage with time running out in the quarter.

Skidmore stopped the run, scoring three straight goals to open the fourth quarter, as Mike Perlow accounted for a pair. Leading 16-3, Middlebury put two more goals on the board before Quinn Hawkins capped the scoring for the Thoroughbreds at 18-4.

Giordano’s hat trick and two assists along with Kerr’s four goals paced Middlebury as 10 others Panthers scored in the contest. First-year netminder Nate Gaudio (Cheshire, Conn.)  played the first three quarters, stopping all nine shots, while rookie Gabe Weissmann (Chappaqua, N.Y.) finished the final 15:00, making four saves while allowing four goals. On the day, Middlebury out-shot Skidmore 63-32, grabbed 18 more groundballs than the Thoroughbreds and was an efficient 28-30 in clearing opportunities. Junior Brian Foster (Medfield, Mass.) won 12-15 face-offs and grabbed a team-best nine groundballs.

The duo of John Jennings and Ian Deveau combined on Colby’s final three goals of the game, including an overtime goal with 1:59 remaining, to give the Mules an 11-10 win over Middlebury. The Panthers have had a number of heartbreaking defeats, with five of their losses in the league by one goal and another by two goals.  Middlebury will wrap up its season when they host Williams on April 25th.

Middlebury won the face-off to start the four-minute overtime session and had two shots on net, with one saved by Colby goaltender Peter Reiley. After securing their clear, the Mules called time with 2:10 to play. Colby got the ball to Deveau up top and he ran hard to the left side and found Jennings wide open in front for the score.

The Panthers stunned Colby in the final minute of regulation play. Kerr tallied with 52 seconds left from in front off a pass from Metros. The Mules won the face-off, but turned the ball over to Middlebury. After a timeout with just 12.1 seconds remaining, Middlebury's Brian Ayers (Southborough, Mass.) was able to get a step on a Colby defender on the right side and went hard to the right post and found an opening for the tying goal with just seven seconds remaining in regulation.

The Mules scored in the final 20 seconds of the opening three quarters. Colby led 8-6 after James Wyse came from behind the goal and scored with just eight seconds left in the third quarter.

Middlebury refused to fold and tied the game up in the opening three minutes of the final quarter. Blockowicz scored unassisted with 13:25 and drew a slashing penalty on Colby during the shot. The Panthers scored on the man-up with 12:33 left when Giordano tallied from Kerr.

The Mules went up 9-8 just 1:23 later when Jennings and Deveau hooked up for their first of three goals. The two put the Mules up 10-8 with just 3:02 remaining when Deveau again found Jennings in the middle for a score.

Jennings scored late goals to give the Mules leads at the quarter breaks in the first half. He tallied with just 18 seconds left in the first quarter to make it 4-3 and scored with only seven seconds left to halftime for a 6-4 margin.

Jonathan McIvor had three goals in the opening half. Greg McKillop added three assists and senior Scott Margolis added two assists.

Kerr led Middlebury with three goals and one assist, while senior Tim Cahill (Glastonbury, Conn.) had two goals. Ayers and Blockowicz both had one goal and one assist for the Panthers.

Bjorn Knutson was 12-for-23 on face-offs, had nine ground balls, and one caused turnover for Colby. Russ Wilson added four ground balls and two caused turnovers, senior Nick Hunnewell finished with three ground balls and two caused turnovers, and Christian Kelso added three ground balls and three caused turnovers.

Foster was 10-20 in face-offs and had seven ground balls for the Panthers. Junior Zach Driscoll (Concord, Mass.) added four ground balls and three caused turnovers, classmate Billy Chapman (Greenwich, Conn.) had four ground balls, and sophomore Darric White (Fairfield, Conn.) had three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

• Men’s lacrosse record: 3-9

• Up next: 4/25 vs. Williams – 4:30