MEN'S SOCCER SITS AT 11-2
October 25, 2010
One goal is all Bates needed as the Bobcats (5-7-1) knocked off 13th ranked Middlebury (11-2) 1-0 on homecoming weekend in Vermont. The Panthers had won four straight games and had allowed just three total goals in their previous 12 contests. Middlebury needs a win at Williams next Friday to secure the top spot in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament, while several other tie-breaking scenarios also exist.
Middlebury had a nice chance to score early, as senior Carson Cornbrooks (Williston, Vt.) missed just wide in the 20th minute after beating a pair of defenders. Bates answered with an opportunity of their own five minutes later, when Patrick Jackson's blast sailed over the crossbar after a header pass from David Wood.
Middlebury junior Tyler Macnee (Williston, Vt.) just missed with a blast in the 27th minute, while rookie Tyler Smith (Pottersville, N.J.) was denied by a save by Bates keeper Greg Watts in the 31st minute.
Bates scored the game's only goal at 38:08 when John Murphy netted his third of the season, unassisted. After a restart, Murphy blasted a perfectly placed shot into the top of the net from 23 yards out.
Middlebury kept up the pressure in the second half, outshooting Bates 9-1, but could not earn the equalizer. Junior Robbie Redmond (Morristown, N.J.) was denied from 25 yards out five minutes into the second half, with the rebound being cleared after a scrum. Smith just missed with a header in the box at 70:08, after taking a cross from Redmond. Their final chance came at 77:42, as senior Harrison Watkins (San Francisco, Calif.) took a cross from Cornbrooks and then saw his shot denied by Watts, who made his fourth save of the game to earn the shutout.
Sophomore Jon Portman (Fair Haven, N.J.) netted his first career goal at 62:20 to give Middlebury a 2-1 victory at Wesleyan on Tuesday.
Portman's goal came just one minute after Wesleyan had knotted the score at 1-1. Portman launched a rocket from 22 yards out that sailed past the outstretched arms of Wesleyan keeper Adam Purdy. The shot was Middlebury's only shot on goal of the second half, as Wesleyan held an 8-5 edge in shots during the period.
Wesleyan had tied the score at 61:14 on a goal by junior midfielder Zach Dixon. Wesleyan forward Noah Schlesinger was tripped by a Middlebury midfielder 20 yards out, giving Wesleyan a free kick from the left side. Dixon took the kick and sent the ball into the right side of the Middlebury net, snapping a Middlebury scoreless streak of 331:14. Middlebury had posted shutouts in its last three games, and the goal was only the third given up by the Panthers in 2010.
Middlebury had moved ahead 1-0 early in the first half. As both teams were jockeying for possession in front of the goal, the ball went to junior defender Otis Pitney (Washington, D.C.), who was standing at the right post. Pitney sent a low, driving shot into the left side of the Wesleyan net at 6:18 for his fourth goal of the season.
Middlebury had plenty of other opportunities in the first half, as the Panthers held a commanding 11-3 edge in shots in the period. Middlebury nearly made it 2-0 in the 31st minute when Portman launched a shot at an open net with Purdy out of position, but Wesleyan defender Jacob Mergendoller stepped in and kicked the ball away at the goal line.
Wesleyan also had a great opportunity early in the second half. With 12 minutes gone in the period, sophomore Rory O'Neill launched a shot from the top of the box that hit the underside of the crossbar and bounced back out. Middlebury was able to clear the ball away before the Cardinals could attempt a follow-up shot.
Middlebury keeper Tim Cahill (S. Glastonbury, Conn.) made a pair of saves in the Middlebury net. Purdy finished with five stops for Wesleyan.
• Men's soccer record: 11-2
• Up next: 10/29 @ Williams - 2:00, 10/31 host TBA - (NESCAC Quarterfinals)