Men's Lax Heads To Tufts For NCAA Quarterfinals
May 17, 2010
The Middlebury men's lacrosse team will visit Tufts for the third time this season, on Wednesday, May 19th at 4:00 p.m. After a regular season game and the NESCAC Championship game, this contest will be an NCAA Quarterfinal match-up, with a trip to the semifinals on the line. The game will be played on Bello Field at Tufts University, with tickets priced at $5 for adults and $3 for students.
Middlebury advanced to the quarterfinal round after a 16-8 victory at Rensselaer on Saturday. David Hild had a huge game with five goals, while Tim Cahill scored three times. Leading 3-2 after one quarter, the Panthers scored 11 goals through the next two periods to put the game out of reach. Middlebury held a 49-33 shots advantage in the game, as Ryan Deane made 11 saves.
Middlebury outscored Goucher 6-2 in the second half on its way to a 10-6 win at home in the first-round of the tournament on May 12th. Hild scored three times, while Cahill netted two in the victory. The Panthers held a 44-28 advantage in shots, winning 14 of 19 face-offs in the game, as Deane made 10 stops.
The Panthers are 31-10 in NCAA play since they first qualified for the tourney in '96. Their .756 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.
The Middlebury offense has come on strong this season, scoring in double digits in each of its last five games, including a season-high 16 goals at Rensselaer last week. The defense has been steady all season long, allowing just 7.61 goals/game, while holding their opponents to a .766 clear percentage. In net, Deane has played 99% of the minutes posting a 7.59 goals against average, a .616 save percentage, and a 13-5 record. Leading that defense this season have been senior Charlie Schopp and sophomore Matt Rayner (55 ground balls).
Offensively, Hild has been on fire as of late, scoring 20 of his team-high 39 goals in the last five games (all post-season). He leads the team with 50 points, while owning 11 assists, three-game winners and four man-up goals. Joining him on attack are Cahill and Pete Smith. Cahill is second on the team with 24 goals in '10, including 14 times in the last five games (all post-season). Smith paces the team with 27 assists on the season to go along with his 18 goals and 45 points. He leads the team with five man-up goals and 66 ground balls.
Andrew Connor, Chris Teves and Erich Pfeffer have led the offensive middies in scoring this season. Connor is third on the team with 23 goals and 30 points, scoring in all but one game this season. Teves is fifth on the squad with 18 points (13-5-18), entering the scoring column in all five post-season games this year. Pfeffer has a three-game point streak, owning seven goals and 10 assists for 17 points on the season.
Alex Englert, Jeff Begin and Bart Witmer see major time in the defensive midfield, while Charlie Schopp and Matt Rayner are the mainstays on defense.
This will be the 45th all-time meeting between Middlebury and Tufts, with the Panthers holding a 32-11-1 series advantage. The teams have met every year since '01, with Middlebury holding an 11-3 lead. Middlebury knocked off the Jumbos in the '06 and '07 NESCAC semifinals, with Tufts winning the '10 title game here on May 9th by a score of 13-12. The Jumbos also won this season's regular season match-up, handing the Panthers a 10-5 loss here on April 24th.
Tufts is making its second straight and third overall NCAA Appearance. The Jumbos are currently 17-1, after earning an 8-1 record in NESCAC play en route to their first conference title. D.J. Hessler (32-46-78), Ryan Molloy (34-25-59), Sean Kirwan (43-5-48) and Matt Witko (34-7-41) lead the team in scoring. The team averages 13.22 goals/game, while allowing 8.33/contest. Steven Foglietta has played a majority of the minutes in goal, owning an 8.58 GAA and a .524 save percentage.
2010 NCAA Men's Lacrosse Quarterfinals
Wednesday, May 12, 2010
Middlebury @ Tufts - 4:00 p.m.
R.I.T. @ Cortland - TBA
Haverford @ Salisbury - TBA
Roanoke @ Stevenson - 4:00 p.m.
Semifinals, Sunday, May 23, 2010 (on campus site)
Middlebury/Tufts vs. R.I.T./Cortland - TBA
Haverford/Salisbury vs. Roanoke/Stevenson - TBA
Championship, Sunday, May 30, 2010 - M&T Bank Stadium - Baltimore, Md.
Face-off @ noon