Men's Lacrosse Wins NESCAC Opener

March 18, 2007

Middlebury began its defense of their NESCAC title with a 10-9 victory over Conn. College at Kohn Field. The game was postponed one day due to inclement weather. Thanks in large part to Middlebury's ground crew and support staff, who worked diligently to clear the field right up to the opening face-off, the game started on time. The Panthers return to action with a non-conference home game against Springfield College on Wednesday while the Camels of Conn. College face-off against NESCAC rival Williams College on Saturday.

Conn. College opened the scoring in the first quarter with a man-up goal by Kevin Nally at the 12:45 mark. The Panthers responded with a goal just over a minute later when Jim Cabrera's shot pinged in off the near pipe to make it a 1-1 game with 11:22 left in the first. The Camels' Sean Driscoll was involved with the next three goals as he scored one and assisted on two others. The first two goals gave Conn. College a 3-1 lead after the first quarter.

The third goal opened the scoring in the second quarter as Matt Flanagan netted his first of his three goals on the day off an assist from Driscoll to build a 4-1 advantage with 12:04 remaining. The Panthers would answer that run with the next five goals of the quarter. Cabrera scored two goals and assisted on another to give Middlebury a 6-4 lead at halftime.

Middlebury increased their lead to 7-4 with 13:55 left in the third quarter when Tom Petty's wrap-around shot from the left side got past Camel goalie Mark Moran. After nearly a 15-minute scoreless drought, the Camels fired back with a score at the 12:13 mark, cutting the Middlebury lead to 7-5. Two more goals by Conn. College tied the game at seven apiece with 4:10 left in the third. The teams would trade goals in the final minutes of the third to set up an exciting fourth quarter.

At the 7:14 mark in the fourth, the tie was broken by Middlebury when Petty netted the go-ahead goal. Just over a minute later the Panthers would make the score 10-8 as face-off specialist Peter Mellen put a deke move on the Camels' defense and slid a shot in from 15 yards out. Conn. College would cut the lead to 10-9 with 2:25 left when Steve Dachille scored from point blank range off a spectacular feed from Flanagan. Middlebury held on to the ball after the face-off for nearly two minutes deep in Camel territory. With under a minute to play, Conn. College took control of the ball. Middlebury maintained fierce defensive pressure on Conn. College as the Camels positioned for the final, game-tying shot. With just three seconds left in the game Conn. College's Craig Audin took a low shot from 15 yards out that Panther goalie Alex Palmisano kick-saved to preserve the Middlebury victory 10-9.

Cabrera and Petty led Middlebury with three goals and an assist each. Flanagan scored three goals and had two assists for Conn. College while Dachille netted three more as Driscoll scored one and assisted on three. Palmisano made 11 saves in goal for the Panthers, while Moran made 17 stops for the Camels in defeat.

Conn. College....... 3 1 4 1 - 9
Middlebury.......... 1 5 2 2 - 10

Conn. College SCORING: GOALS: Matt Flanagan 3; Steve Dachille 3; Sean Driscoll 1; Kevin Nally 1; Jesse Stevenson 1.
ASSISTS: Sean Driscoll 3; Matt Flanagan 2; Kevin Nally 1; Jesse Stevenson 1.

Middlebury SCORING: GOALS: Jim Cabrera 3; Tom Petty 3; Nick Bastis 2; Peter Melllen 1; Skyler Hopkins 1.
ASSISTS: Jim Cabrera 1; Skyler Hopkins 1; Conor Lyons 1; Peter Mellen 1; Tom Petty 1.

SHOTS - CONN 25; MID 42.
PENALTIES - CONN 1/1:00; MID 3/2:00.
FACEOFFS - CONN 2-23; MID 21-23.
CLEARS - CONN 20-26; MID 11-13.

GOALIES - CONN: Mark Moran (60:00, 17 saves, 10 GA);
MID: Alex Palmisano (60:00,11 saves, 9 GA).