May 13, 2009

Middlebury Atones, Moves Past Wesleyan

from press release

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team advanced to the NCAA semifinals after a 13-5 win at Wesleyan in an quarterfinal match-up. The Panthers (15-2) will travel to Cortland (6-5 winner over WNEC) for an NCAA Semifinal game on Sunday, with the winner advancing to the national title game at Gillette Stadium on May 24th. The win over Wesleyan avenges both of Middlebury's losses this season at the hands of the Cardinals, who end their season at 15-4. The will mark the eighth time since '99 and first time since '05 that Middlebury has advanced to the semifinal round.

Middlebury took a little while to get started in its third meeting with Wesleyan but left no trace of its 3-0 deficit after 7:28 of the first quarter. The Panthers rattled off six unanswered goals from 7:03 of the first period when senior Matt Ferrer got things started off a pass from sophomore David Hild to 3:37 of the second stanza when senior Skyler Hopkins netted an unassisted tally from the outside. The six goals came from six different players but Hopkins had two assists on the other five goals to trigger the assault.

At the other end, Middlebury's defense stymied the Cardinal offense, holding Wesleyan to just one shot over the nearly 20-minute span. Also helping support the Middlebury effort was senior face-off man Dave Campbell. After he lost five of six face-offs during the opening quarter, he settled in to win 11 of the final 16.

Though Wesleyan ended the first half on a goal by John Froats to make it a 6-4 margin at intermission, that was as close as the Cardinals would get. Middlebury had the only two goals of the third period, coming from senior Mike Stone on a low shot from the outside and Hild on an inside feed from junior Peter Smith. Stone, named NESCAC Player of the Year for the second straight season, took over the game in the fourth quarter as Middlebury pushed the four-goal difference to the final margin of eight. Stone was involved in four of the Panthers final five goals with two goals and two assists, bringing his seasonal total to 73 on 56 goals and 17 helpers.

Smith, with a goal and three assists, upped his seasonal output to 57 points (15-42-57) while Hopkins cracked the 50-point plateau at 31-21-52 with his goal and two assists.

In the Middlebury net, senior Peter Britt, who has played all but five minutes in goal for the Panthers this season, made 15 saves for a .750 percentage in the contest. His counterpart, senior Mike Borrero of Wesleyan, had 13 stops.

Wesleyan senior Russ Follansbee paced the Cardinals with two goals, including the final score at 9:51 of the fourth quarter which cut the differential to five at 10-5.

Middlebury College.. 2 4 2 5 - 13
Wesleyan University. 3 1 0 1 - 5

Middlebury College SCORING: GOALS: Mike Stone 4; David Hild 2; Matt Ferrer 2; Tom Petty 2; Pete Smith 1; Skyler Hopkins 1; Tim Cahill 1.
ASSISTS: Pete Smith 3; Skyler Hopkins 2; Mike Stone 2; David Hild 1.

Wesleyan University SCORING: GOALS: Russ Follansbee 2; Jon Killeen 1; Lonny Blumenthal 1; John Froats 1. ASSISTS: Jason Ben-Eliyahu 2; Adam Kirk 1.

GOALTENDER SUMMARY: Mike Borrero-W, 60:00 min., 13 GA, 13 saves - Peter Britt-M, 60:00 min., 5 GA, 15 saves.

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