March 29, 2011

Late Middlebury Rally Unlocks W&L Defense

from press release

The Washington & Lee defense played up to expectations, giving No. 7 Middlebury trouble all evening on Tuesday. A late run by the Panthers, capped off by an Erich Pfeffer goal, allowed Midd to escape Georgetown with a win.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Erich Pfeffer capped a second half Middlebury comeback, scoring a man-up goal with 6:38 left in the game, for a 6-5 victory over Washington and Lee in a non-league lacrosse tilt on Tuesday evening at Georgetown University. The seventh-ranked Panthers (4-1) held the Generals (6-5) to one goal over the final three quarters.

The Generals opened the scoring at 11:22 of the first quarter when Jack Switala scored off an assist from Luke Heinsohn. Middlebury scored its first goal 10 seconds later, when Alex Giammarco found the net, and then assumed a 2-1 lead on an unassisted tally by Peter Jennings six seconds later. The Panther lead lasted only 1:43 as W&L's Spence Daw notched the equalizer, starting a three-goal W&L run for a 4-2 lead in the first quarter.

Middlebury knifed the deficit to 4-3 when Mike Giordano scored at 4:21 in the second quarter, but the Generals took a 5-3 lead on an unassisted tally by Drew Koeneman with 7:53 left in the half. That would be W&L's final goal of the game as the Panther defense held the Generals scoreless for the remaining 37:53.

During their defensive stand, Middlebury strung together a trio of goals over the final 16:58 for their fourth-straight win in the series. Andrew Conner scored at 1:58 of the third quarter, while Tim Cahill drew Middlebury even at 9:24 of the fourth quarter with a goal off a Giordano assist. With Middlebury gaining a one-minute man-up opportunity with 7:37 left to play, Giordano found Pfeffer in the waning seconds of the penalty, for what proved to be the game-winner.

Washington and Lee had several attempts for the tie in the final minutes. The Generals best scoring chance came on a point-blank shot by Cooper Brown with under 20 seconds remaining that was turned away by Middlebury goalkeeper Ryan Deane preserving the one-goal win.

Middlebury was paced by Giordano, who posted one goal and two helpers, as five others netted one goal apiece. Deane recorded nine saves between the pipes. The Panthers outshot W&L 42-26, while winning 10-of-15 face-offs as Jennings and Brian Foster each won five match-ups.

Switala led the Generals with two goals, while Means had one goal and one assist. Washington and Lee goalkeeper Jason Lumpkin made 14 saves.

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