Middlebury

Men's Lax Falls In NESCAC Semifinals

May 3, 2008

Richard Reuter converted a quick pass from Michael Vrla with 1:52 left in overtime to lift Williams to an 11-10 win over top-seeded Middlebury in a NESCAC semifinal game in Vermont. The Ephs will take on Bowdoin, an 11-9 winner over Bowdoin, in the championship game on Sunday at noon. The Panthers will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament when the pairings are announced on Sunday night.

Williams entered the tournament as the sixth-seed, knocking off third-seeded Tufts 14-6 last Sunday to advance to the semifinal round. Middlebury won the regular season meeting between the schools, edging out a 7-6 win in Williamstown on April 2nd.

Williams took a 2-0 lead in the first quarter behind a goal from Tim White and a man-up tally from Vrla. Tom Petty put the Panthers on the board before the Ephs opened the second quarter with a goal from Marco DeMeireles to take a 3-2 lead. David Hawley made it a 4-2 game with a high shot from the left side, before Middlebury answered with a pair of tallies to knot the game at four. Williams closed the first half with a rocket from David Hawley at the seven-second mark following a timeout.

The third quarter saw the teams exchange six goals as the Ephs took an 8-7 advantage into the fourth quarter. Jim Cabrera tied the game for Middlebury driving to the goal early in the fourth. Kevin Connolly scored the next two goals for the Ephs with a Mike Stone tally in between to give the Ephs a 10-9 lead with 54 seconds left to play.

Following a timeout with possession, Middlebury set up the offense to attempt to tie the game. With just 25 seconds left, Stone made a nice feed to Matt Farrer, who scored from 15 yards out on the left to send the game into sudden-death overtime.

Middlebury won the face-off to open OT, calling a timeout to set-up a shot at the game-winner. An errant pass gave the ball back to Williams, who cleared the ball and took a timeout with 2:09 left in overtime. Following a few passes around the perimeter, the Ephs found themselves with some room as Vrla set up Reuter for the game-winner.

Rueter paced the Ephs with three goals in the game, while Connolly and Hawley netted two apiece for Williams, winners of their last five games. Petty scored three for the home team, while Ferrer added a pair.

Michael Gerbush made 16 saves in goal for Williams, while Pete Britt made 11 stops for the Panthers.

Williams SCORING: GOALS: Richard Reuter 3; David Hawley 2; Kevin Connolly 2; Michael Vrla 1; Tim White 1; Ryan Powell 1; Marco DeMeireles 1. ASSISTS: Michael Vrla 2; Matt Cranshaw 1; David Hawley 1; Richard Reuter 1; Tim White 1.

Middlebury SCORING: GOALS: Tom Petty 3; Matt Ferrer 2; Mike Stone 1; Jim Cabrera 1; Pete Smith 1; Skyler Hopkins 1; Bart Witmer 1. ASSISTS: Mike Stone 2; Jeff Begin 1; Jim Cabrera 1; Alex Giammarco 1; Frank Granara 1; Pete Smith 1.

GOALIES - WILMEN: Michael Gerbush (63:08 minutes, 26 shots-16 saves, 10 GA); MIDMLAX: Peter Britt (63:08, 22-11, 11).