Men's Lacrosse Earn NCAA Bid - Watch Live!

May 9, 2010

Middlebury will make its 13th consecutive and 14th overall appearance in the NCAA Division III Men's Lacrosse Tournament. The Panthers will take on Goucher in a first-round game on Wednesday, May 12th at 3:00 p.m. Middlebury earned its way into the tournament with an at-large bid after falling 13-12 to Tufts in the title game. Tickets are priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students.

The Panthers are 29-10 in NCAA play since they first qualified for the tourney in '96. Their .744 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.

This season, Middlebury opened league play with back-to-back wins over Bates and Wesleyan before suffering back-to-back one-goal losses to Connecticut College (8-7) and Colby (9-8). Following a 14-6 victory over Amherst, the Panthers dropped their first contest to the Polar Bears since 2002 in an 11-6 loss on April 10. Middlebury went on to win six of its next eight contests, before falling 13-12 in the NESCAC Championship game. Three of Middlebury's five losses this season came by just one goal.

While the offense has struggled a bit in '10 (9.44 goals/game), the defense has remained stellar. The Panthers allow just 7.69 goals/game, while holding their opponent's to a .777 clear percentage. In net, junior goalkeeper Ryan Deane has played nearly every minute of every game, posting a 7.64 goals against average, a .618 save percentage, and an 11-5 record. Leading that defense this season have been senior Charlie Schopp and sophomore Matt Rayner (48 ground balls).

Offensively, senior Pete Smith leads the attackmen with 17 goals and a team-high 23 assists for 40 points on the season. He is also tops on the team with 60 ground balls and four man-up tallies in '10. Smith has recorded 15 points in his last four games. The squad's other top attackman has been sophomore Tim Cahill, who has found the back of the net 17 times this season, including nine times in the last three games.

Junior David Hild leads the team in scoring after an eight-point weekend at the NESCAC Tourney. The middie owns a team-high 31 goals and 41 points to go along with his 10 assists. He also owns three game-winners and three man-up goals. Hild has earned 19 points in his last five games, including a 5-2-7 effort vs. Tufts in the NESCAC finals. Junior Andrew Conner is another top offensive middie, with 20 goals and five helpers this season, including five goals in the last three games.

Goucher is making its first NCAA Tournament appearance after winning its first Landmark Conference Championship with an 11-4 win over Catholic. The Gophers enter the game with an overall record of 14-3, winning their last nine contests.

Leading the team in scoring this season have been Kyle Boncaro (38-28-66), Matt Lynch (34-24-58) and Rory Averett (48-8-56). Chris Stricklin is 14-3 in goal with a 5.13 GAA and a .653 save percentage.

2010 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Tournament
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Goucher (14-3) @ Middlebury (11-5) - 3:00 p.m.

Saturday, May 15, 2010
Goucher/Middlebury @ Rensselaer (13-5) - TBA