Men's Lax To Host Nazareth On Sunday In NCAA Semi's

May 19, 2005

5/19/05 - The Middlebury College men's lacrosse team will make its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA semifinals after an 11-8 win over Wesleyan in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers will take on <?xml:namespace prefix = "st1" ns = "urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags" />Nazareth, a 14-7 winner over Cortland, in a rematch of last year's NCAA semifinal game, where the Golden Flyers earned a 12-8 win. The game will take place on Sunday, May 22nd at 3:00 p.m. in Middlebury. Roanoke will visit Salisbury in the other semifinal match-up on Sunday at 1:00 p.m.

Middlebury advanced to the NCAA title game from '99-03, winning three straight NCAA crowns in '00, '01 and '02. The Panthers lost their first title game in '99, before falling in the '04 semifinals to Nazareth.

This season, the Panthers earned the right to play in the tournament with a 9-5 win over Wesleyan in the NESCAC Championship game. Middlebury has an overall tournament record of 23-5 (.821), boasting the highest winning percentage in tournament history of any team still competing in Division III.

Leading Middlebury's scoring attack this season have been Jim Cabrera (33-13-46), Henry Sheehan (17-22-39), Travis Meyer (15-17-32), Mark Foster (22-9-31), and Dave Leach (18-10-28), while Peter Mellen wins 66% of his face-offs.  In goal, Alex Palmisano has a 7.59 goals against average.

Nazareth made its way to the semifinals after a 13-10 win over Stevens Tech and a 14-7 win at Cortland on Wednesday.  Leading the team in scoring this season are Ryan Hotaling (45-30-75), Bryan Coon (25-17-42), Chris Balash (24-15-39) and Greg Kanellis (26-10-36). Alex Civalier has an 8.68 GAA in net.

This will be the seventh all-time meeting between the two schools, with six of the seven coming in NCAA Tournament play. Nazareth defeated Middlebury 10-3 in '97 and 14-7 in the '98 NCAA quarterfinals. The Panthers earned 13-8 and 21-14 wins in the '00 and '01 semifinals, with the schools not meeting in '02. The rivalry resumed in '03, with Middlebury picking up a 21-12 win in the quarterfinal round. A year ago, Nazareth put an end to Middlebury's 45-game winning streak at Alumni Stadium, as they earned a 12-8 win in the NCAA semifinals.