Men's Soccer To Host Sectional - Live Stats Available

November 17, 2007

The Middlebury College men's soccer team will host one of four, four-team NCAA sectionals this weekend on campus. The Panthers will take on Williams at 11:00 a.m. on Saturday, while Amherst battles York (Pa.) at 1:30 or 30 minutes following the first game. The winners meet on Sunday at 1:00 with a trip to the final four on the line. Tickets are available at the gate and are priced at $6 for adults and $3 for students.

Middlebury is in the midst of its eighth NCAA Tournament appearance, entering the weekend with a record of 3-4-2 in NCAA Tournament play, twice falling on penalty kicks. The Panthers picked up tournament wins in '96, and '00, before falling at St. Lawrence a year ago.

Last weekend, the Panthers picked up a convincing 5-0 win over Wheaton in a second-round game at home. Casey Ftorek earned a hat-trick, as Middlebury outshot Wheaton 31-6. David LaRocca and Jake Edwards added goals, as Brian Bush made one save in goal to earn the shutout, his ninth of the season.

Middlebury earned its way into the NCAA Tournament by capturing its second NESCAC Championship with a 1-0 win over Amherst in the title game. Bush earned NESCAC Player of the Week honors after allowing one goal in 200 minutes, while stopping both penalty kicks on goal in a semifinal shootout win over Williams.

The Panthers have earned a school-record 15 wins this season, against just a pair of losses and one tie. Middlebury has also posted a school-record 13 shutouts in '07. Head coach David Saward, now in his 23rd year, sports a career record of 248-82-35 (.727) entering the weekend.

Middlebury opened the season with seven consecutive wins, including a 454-minute shutout streak to start the season. The Panthers suffered a 3-1 loss to Amherst before running off four more wins. Middlebury suffered its second loss of the season, a 2-1 overtime game at Keene State, before finishing the season at 3-0-1.

Middlebury led the NESCAC this season with just 0.43 goals allowed per game, while the Panther offense is second with 2.17 goals/game. Senior Casey Ftorek has been the team's offensive leader, pacing the NESCAC with .83 goals/game, while ranking second with 1.89 points/contest. He leads the team with 15 goals and four assists for 34 points, including eight game-winners. His goals and points numbers tie Middlebury single-season records.

Sophomore Stephen Hart (5-3-13), seniors Baer Fisher (3-5-11) and Brandon Jackson (3-4-10), along with LaRocca (4-1-9) round out the leading scorers. Senior Andrew Germansky anchors the defense, with junior teammate Corey Moffat and sophomore Colin Nangle.

Bush had been steady in goal this season, despite missing almost four games with an injury. The junior is 12-1-1 with a 0.43 GAA and nine shutouts on the year.

Middlebury and Williams have met numerous times in the post-season over the last 12 years. The Ephs defeated Middlebury in the '96 and '00 NCAA Tournaments, while holding a 1-3-2 edge in NESCAC Tournament play. Earlier this season, Middlebury defeated Williams 1-0 at home before battling to a scoreless tie in the NESCAC Tournament. The Panthers won the shootout 3-0 and went on to win the conference title with a win over Amherst. Williams holds a 27-20-7 all-time advantage.

Middlebury and Amherst have also had several post-season meetings, dating back to a pair of ECAC Tournament wins for Middlebury in '86 and '87. The two teams battled to ties in the '95 and '97 NCAA Tournaments, with the Jeffs advancing on penalty kicks each time. Middlebury is 2-1 in NESCAC Tournament play against Amherst, with an overall post-season mark of 4-0-1 against the Jeffs. Earlier this season, Amherst handed Middlebury its first loss, a 3-1 decision at Amherst. The Panthers avenged the loss with a 1-0 win the NESCAC Championship game and are 19-10-8 all-time vs. Amherst.

Middlebury and York have never met.

2007 NCAA Men's Soccer Sectional

Saturday, November 17th -

Middlebury College
Williams (12-4-2) vs. Middlebury (15-2-1) - 11:00 a.m.
York (21-2) vs. Amherst (15-2) - 1:30 p.m. or 30 mins. after first game

Sunday, November 18th - Middlebury College
Sectional Final - 1:00

Watch LIVE STATS of each game.