Men's Soccer To Play NCAA Tourney In N.J.
November 6, 2006
The Middlebury College men's soccer team will make its seventh NCAA Tournament appearance this weekend in a regional hosted by New York University. The games will be played on the campus of the New Jersey Institute of Technology in Newark, N.J. The Panthers (11-5-1) will take on St. Lawrence (11-5-2) on Saturday, November 11th at 7:30 p.m. Roger Williams (13-6-2) meets N.Y.U. (13-3-2) at 5:00 p.m. in the other match-up. The winners will meet in the regional final on Sunday night at 6:00.
Middlebury enters the tournament with an overall record of 2-3-2 in NCAA Tournament play, twice falling on penalty kicks. The Panthers picked up tournament wins in '96 and '00, it's last NCAA appearance.
Middlebury earned its way into the NCAA Tournament with an at-large bid after an impressive showing at the 2006 NESCAC Tournament. After a solid first-round win at Bowdoin, Middlebury avenged an earlier season loss to Amherst by eliminating the Jeffs in the semifinals. The Panthers then battled to a 0-0 draw with Williams before falling on penalty kicks. The Panthers won the inaugural NESCAC Championship in '00. Head coach David Saward, now in his 22nd year, sports a career record of 233-80-34 (.720) entering the weekend.
The Panthers opened the season with a 5-0 mark before dropping three of its next four games. Following a pair of wins, including an overtime victory at Williams, Middlebury dropped two straight. The Panthers have come on strong of late and are unbeaten in their last four games.
Middlebury led the NESCAC this season with 2.47 goals/game. Much of the offense was provided by transfer Casey Ftorek, who earned Liberty League Player of the Year honors at Union last season. The sophomore has tied the school record with 34 points this season, to go along with a team-high 13 goals and eight assists.
Seniors Vandy Shanholt (6-2-14) and John Sales (5-4-14) and junior Baer Fisher (5-4-14) round out the leading scorers. Senior David Lee, along with junior Andrew Germansky, rookie Colin Nangle and senior Winston Rains have been a big part of the defense.
Current NESCAC Player of the Week Zach Toth has been impressive in goal. The senior boasts a 10-4-1 record on the season, with a 0.99 GAA and six shutouts. He now has 14 career shutouts in two years as a starter.
2006 NCAA Men's Soccer Regional
Saturday, November 11th -
New Jersey Institute of Technology - Newark, N.J.
Roger Williams (13-6-2) vs. New York University (13-3-2) - 5:00 p.m.
St. Lawrence (11-5-2) vs. Middlebury (11-5-1) - 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, November 12th
Regional Final - 6:00 p.m.