April 30, 2012

Leading 7-6 at intermission, Middlebury outscored Williams 7-3 in the second half for a 14-9 win at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The game caps the season for both squads as the Panthers finish with a 4-9 overall record and 3-7 in NESCAC play, while the Ephs end their year at 3-10 and 1-9 in conference action.

After a 4-4 first quarter, Middlebury earned the first two-goal lead of the game in the second. A man-up tally by junior Stew Kerr (Lake Forest, Ill.) at 14:10 followed by senior Tim Cahill’s (Glastonbury, Conn.) goal off a junior Mike Giordano (Ridgewood, N.J.) feed at 11:07 gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead. Both teams exchanged goals later in the second before Evan Dedominicis collected the final goal of the half, for a 7-6 Panther advantage at the break.

Middlebury opened the third quarter with a 3-0 burst, building a 10-6 cushion with 4:32 left. Giordano set up senior Alex Englert (Wellesley, Mass.) at 9:36, as sophomore George Curtis (Nashville, Tenn.) followed with a helper from junior Andrew Metros (Kings Point, N.Y.) at 7:39. Kerr capped the run on another man-up goal, this one off a feed from junior Erich Pfeffer (Glastonbury, Conn.). The Ephs stopped the run when Michael Hellstern notched his lone goal of the game with 1:03 left, cutting the Panther lead to 10-7.

Both teams exchanged goals to open the fourth quarter before Middlebury used another three-goal run for some breathing room down the stretch. Senior Jack Balaban’s (Washington, D.C.) two goals bookended a tally by Metros, giving the Panthers a 14-8 lead. The final goal of the game was on a last-second box-to-box clearing pass from David Doggett that landed on the stick of Williams’ Andy Grabowski who quickly redirected the ball for the score.

Giordano scored a goal with four assists, Metros added two goals and two assists and grabbed game-high eight groundballs, while Kerr collected a hat-trick for Middlebury. Balaban and Cahill each scored a pair as first-year netminder Nate Gaudio (Cheshire, Conn.) earned the win, stopping 11 shots on the day. The Panthers were 3-5 in extra-man opportunities and held a decisive 40-26 groundball advantage.

Dedominicis, Grabowski and Colin Foster each scored two goals for Williams, as Sean Dougherty suffered the loss in net, allowing all 14 goals while making a dozen saves.

• Men’s lacrosse final record: 4-9