Men's Lacrosse To Meet Cortland In NCAA Semi's - Watch Live!

May 14, 2009

Middlebury is making its 12th consecutive and 13th overall appearance in the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Panthers earned a 15-11 win over St. Lawrence in the second-round and a 13-5 win at Wesleyan in the quarterfinals to advance to the semifinals on Sunday. Middlebury will play its second straight road game when they battle Cortland on May 17th at 1:00 p.m. This will mark the eighth time since '99 and first time since '05 that Middlebury has advanced to the semifinal round.

Cortland holds a 2-1 all-time series lead over the Panthers, with all three games coming in NCAA Tournament play. The first meeting came in '03, when Middlebury went on the road to earn a 9-8 overtime win in the semifinal round. Cortland returned the favor in both '06 and '08, topping the Panthers 12-8 and 11-10 in the quarterfinals.

Last Saturday, Middlebury outscored St. Lawrence 7-0 in the third quarter on its way to a 15-11 win over the Saints. With the game tied at 6-6, the Panthers went on their decisive run, holding their opponent's scoreless for a 19:42 span. Jack Masur, who owned two goals entering the game, paced the team with a career-best three tallies.

At Wesleyan on Wednesday, Middlebury trailed 3-0 before outscoring the Cardinals 13-2 the rest of the way to earn a 13-5 win. The win avenged the Panthers only two losses this season, with both of them coming at the hands of the Cardinals. Mike Stone netted four goals in the game, while Pete Smith had a goal and three assists. Pete Britt record 15 saves in goal for the second straight game.

The Panthers are 29-9 in NCAA play since they first qualified for the tourney in '96. Their .763 NCAA winning percentage is higher than any other team currently competing in Division III lacrosse. Middlebury has advanced to the NCAA title game in six of the last 10 seasons, winning three straight NCAA crowns in '00, '01 and '02.

Middlebury opened '09 with a win over Bates before suffering an 8-7 road loss at Wesleyan on March 14th. The Panthers then rattled off a dozen straight wins before dropping a 14-13 overtime game to Wesleyan in the NESCAC semifinals. Middlebury finished the NESCAC regular season with an 8-1 record, two games ahead of Bowdoin, Tufts and Wesleyan. Middlebury has outscored its opponents by a slim margin this season, holding a 13.05-10.17 scoring advantage. The Panthers have won three one-goal games, three two-goal games and two three-goal games this season, with both losses coming by a goal.

Middlebury is second in the NESCAC in scoring this season with 13.05 goals/game, while leading the league with a .472 efficiency in man-up situations. Reigning NESCAC Player of the Year Mike Stone (56-17-73) leads the NESCAC in goals/game with 3.29, while ranking second with 4.29 points/game. Junior Pete Smith (15-42-57) is second in the league with 2.47 assists/game, while senior Dave Campbell is third with his 7.94 ground balls/contest. Senior Skyler Hopkins (31-21-52), senior Tom Petty (31-7-38), senior Matt Ferrer (26-6-32) and sophomore David Hild (26-6-32) round out the leading scorers. Peter Britt is 15-2 with a 10.05 GAA and a .541 save percentage.

Cortland (17-2) is making its 18th overall NCAA Tournament appearance, having won the '06 NCAA title over Salisbury, while falling to the Gulls in the '07 and '08 championship games. The Red Dragons beat Geneseo 14-13 to capture the SUNYAC title and advance to the NCAA Tourney. Cortland defeated Springfield 15-2 in the second round, before edging W.N.E.C. 6-5 in a quarterfinal game on Wednesday.

Mike Tota (45-15-60), Brian Krol (36-12-48), Greg Wright (21-23-44) and Chris DuLuca (24-18-42) lead the Red Dragons in scoring this season. Matt Hipenbecker is 16-2 with a 7.06 GAA and a .513 save percentage between the pipes. DeLuca has been impressive at .713 in face-offs, while Justin Battino is .587 efficient. DuLuca (109), Eric Parah (77) and Tom Burke (64) lead the team in ground balls.

2009 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament
Quarterfinals, Wednesday, May 13th, 2009
Cortland 6, W.N.E.C. 5
Middlebury 13, Wesleyan 5
Stevenson 11, Salisbury 9
Gettysburg 13, Denison 8

Semifinals, Sunday, May 17th, 2009
Middlebury (15-2) @ Cortland (17-2) - 1:00 p.m.
Gettysburg (15-3) @ Stevenson (17-1) - 1:00 p.m.

NCAA Championship, Sunday, May 24th, 2009
Gillette Stadium - Foxboro, Mass. - 12:00 p.m.

Watch Live! - Cortland Audio