Men's Lax Advances To NESCAC Title Game
May 8, 2010
The Middlebury men’s lacrosse team has advanced to the NECAC Championship game with a 13-9 win over Bowdoin at Tufts. The Panthers will take on the host school on Sunday at noon in the title game, with the winner earning an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament. Middlebury entered the tournament as the sixth-seed, while Bowdoin was the fourth-seed.
Senior Pete Smith led the Panthers with two goals and three assists, while junior Ryan Deane was tremendous in goal with 16 saves, including nine in the fourth quarter.
Bowdoin came charging out of the gate with a 3-0 lead following a goal by sophomore Nathan Fritts at 10:12 of the opening period. Middlebury retaliated with the next three goals, tying the score at 3-3 on a tally by senior Chris Teves with 1:39 left in the first. Teves would score again with just 16 seconds remaining in the first half, capping a back-and-forth second quarter and giving the Panthers a 6-5 advantage that they would not relinquish.
The Polar Bears closed within 7-6 on a strike by junior Owen Smith at 10:14 of the third quarter. However, Middlebury scored three of the next four to open up some breathing room with a 10-7 advantage heading into the fourth quarter. Tallies by Tim Cahill and Matt Rayner in the middle of the third came just 13 seconds apart during that stretch.
Smith scored the first goal of the fourth to keep Bowdoin alive at 10-8, but Middlebury surged to a 13-8 margin with the next three goals. Junior David Hild scored two and the Panthers were in control as the clock wound down under six minutes. Bowdoin managed to add an Adam Tracy goal at 5:20, but the closing minutes of the game were played in a downpour and Middlebury maintained possession to drain the clock.
Hild added three goals to the Middlebury attack, while Cahill and Teves both finished with two goals and an assist. Rayner's four ground balls topped the Panthers, who add a 28-25 edge in that category as a team. Shots were even at 39-39.
Bowdoin dominated face-offs 16-8, including seven wins in nine attempts by sophomore Brendan Hughes. Tracy, Smith, and sophomore Keegan Mehlhorn had two goals each to pace the Polar Bears. Freshman Phillip Cuddeback scooped up four ground balls and sophomore Christopher Williamson made 10 saves for the Bears, who finished their season at 9-7.