Men's Lacrosse Outlasts Tufts

April 11, 2009

Mike Stone's goal at 6:03 in the fourth proved to be the difference, giving Middlebury an 11-10 victory over Tufts on Saturday at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Jumbos had two opportunities to tie the game in the final minute, but were denied the equalizer. In the battle of two nationally ranked teams, the fourth-ranked Panthers improve to 9-1 and 6-1 in NESCAC play, while 10th ranked Tufts drops to 9-2 overall and 5-2 in conference action. With the win, Middlebury takes over sole possession of first place in the conference.

The evenly played first half saw the Panthers take the lead on five separate occasions, only to see Tufts battle back to tie it up four times, including Clem McNally's goal, knotting the score at six-all with 3:52 left in the second quarter. Middlebury answered with a pair to end the half, including Tim Cahill's third goal of the season, set up by an excellent pass from Stone for an 8-6 lead at intermission

The Panthers built their lead to 9-6 in the third when Stone scored on a move towards the cage at 11:32. The Jumbos got a pair back, as Kevin Williams scored off a nifty move to his right and set up the other goal on a man-up tally by Matt Witco. Skyler Hopkins ended the third with his 18th goal of the season, with a lefty shot coming off a driving move to his right for a 10-8 lead.

Tufts cut the lead to one when McNally netted his 35th on the year at 8:58 and tied it for the fifth and final time when Williams notched his second of the day with 7:04 left in the game. Nearly a minute later, Stone collected his hat trick on another driving move to the crease, for the 11-10 lead.

With the clock winding down below 30 seconds to play, the Jumbos attacked the net, but Panther goaltender Pete Britt made a key save on a Chase Bibby shot. Middlebury failed to clear the ball, setting up a low-post move by D.J. Hessler, the NESCAC's leading scorer, but Hessler committed a crease violation with :04 remaining, turning the ball over and sealing the win for Middlebury.

Stone led all scorers with three goals and one assist, while Hopkins add a pair of goals for Middlebury. Six other Panthers had solo tallies, including Alex Englert's second career goal. McNally led Tufts with a hat trick and Williams netted a pair and assisted on a third, while Ryan Molloy scored two and Hessler assisted on two more.

Britt earned the win, stopping 12 shots while allowing 10 goals, holding the number one scoring team in the NESCAC to six fewer goals than previously averaged (16.22/game). Matt Harrigan suffered the loss, letting up 11 goals and making 13 saves.

Tufts............... 3 3 2 2 - 10
Middlebury.......... 4 4 2 1 - 11

GOALS: Clem McNally 3; Kevin Williams 2; Ryan Molloy 2; Matt Witko 1; Mike Droesch 1; Andrew Giocondi 1.
ASSISTS: D.J. Hessler 2; Chase Bibby 1; Ryan Molloy 1; Kevin Williams 1; Matt Witko 1.

Middlebury SCORING:
GOALS: Mike Stone 3; Skyler Hopkins 2; Pete Smith 1; David Hild 1; Tom Petty 1; Chris Teves 1; Alex Englert 1; Tim Cahill 1.
ASSISTS: Matt Ferrer 1; Pete Smith 1; Mike Stone 1.

PENALTIES - TUF 0/0:00; MIDMLAX 3/2:00.
FACEOFFS - TUF 10-25; MIDMLAX 15-25.
CLEARS - TUF 16-23; MIDMLAX 19-23.

TUF: Matt Harrigan (60:00 minutes, 13 saves, 11GA);
MIDMLAX: Peter Britt (60:00 minutes, 12 saves, 10 GA).