Men's Lacrosse Advances To NESCAC Semi's

May 2, 2010

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team advanced to next weekend's NESCAC semifinals after a 15-12 road win at third-seeded Amherst. The sixth-seeded Panthers will take on #4 Bowdoin next Saturday at 3:00 at Tufts, while #8 Wesleyan meets #2 Tufts in the other semifinal at 12:00. The championship game is slated for Sunday at noon.

Amherst jumped out to an 8-2 lead over Middlebury, but the visiting Panthers used a 7-0 run to storm back for the victory on Gooding Field. Amherst ends its season at 7-7 (5-4 NESCAC), while Middlebury improves to 10-4 (5-4).

David Hild and Tim Cahill each had four goals for Middlebury, while Amherst was paced by four goals from Thomas McDonnell and four points from Evan Redwood. Sam Jakimo stopped 14 shots and played an exceptional first half, while Ryan Deane made nine saves for the win.

Amherst held a 3-0 lead by the time Middlebury took its first shot of the game, as the Jeffs looked like a completely different team from the one that suffered a 14-6 loss to the Panthers on Apr. 7. In a span of 3:32, Alex Fox, Redwood and Dan Routh found the back of the cage to give the hosts a 3-0 lead with 10:27 remaining in the opening quarter.

Hild scored with 5:39 and 1:59 remaining in the first period to make it a 3-2 game, but the next five goals went to Amherst. Redwood, Will Reed and McDonnell each scored before five minutes had passed in the period, forcing Middlebury into a timeout. Reed's goal was particularly impressive, as he picked off a pass in Amherst's defensive end, carried the ball the length of the field, wound up and let loose a bullet from the right side.

The Panther timeout did not affect McDonnell, who scored twice in a span of 21 seconds to give Amherst an 8-2 lead with 4:29 remaining in the first half. An unnecessary roughness penalty was called on Middlebury as the Jeffs' seventh goal was being scored, allowing them to come right back and capitalize on a man-up opportunity.

Middlebury took over from there, scoring the game's next seven goals to take a 9-8 lead with 7:59 to play in the third quarter. After Hild and Cahill closed out the scoring in the first half, Pete Smith kept his team going by beating Jakimo 1:45 into the third quarter. Smith scored twice during the 7-0 run, with Andrew Conner, Alex Englert and Chris Teves adding unassisted scores.

Amherst tied the game at 9-9 with 6:19 to play in the third when McDonnell took a pass from Fox and recorded the 125th goal of his career, catching the ball right in front of the cage and calmly sneaking a shot past Deane. Cahill and Hild scored 37 seconds apart to give the Panthers an 11-9 lead after three quarters.

Fox cut the deficit to one, but Middlebury answered with two goals of its own. Amherst's Danny Gold pushed right back to make it a 13-11 contest with 3:31 on the clock, but the Panthers again responded with a pair of goals, one of which was scored by Cahill. Rob Denious recorded the final goal of the afternoon with 22 seconds remaining, with Jeff Izzo picking up his third assist of the game.

Box score