Middlebury men’s lacrosse splits first two contests

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team split a pair of games to open its season, dropping its home opener to a NESCAC foe on Saturday before winning a non-league road game on Tuesday. The Panthers will host league foe Connecticut on this coming Saturday at 1 p.m.
On this past Saturday, visiting Tufts dealt the Panthers a 24-6 setback. The Jumbos were ranked No. 5 in NCAA Division III preseason polls, while the Panthers came in at No. 18. The Jumbos piled up 77 shots to Middlebury’s 33, and the 18-goal margin of defeat was the largest for the Panthers since a 23-3 loss to Harvard in 1961.
The Panthers scored first with a crisp goal by Taylor Pirie at 12:56, but the Jumbos scored four straight to lead by 4-1 after one period and then four more to lead by 8-1 in the second.
The Panthers’ Tim Giarrusso scored twice in the second period, but Tufts used another four-goal burst to take a 12-3 lead at intermission. Tufts duplicated that success in the second half for the 24-6 final.
Giarrusso scored three for Middlebury, and Jon Broome and Harrison Goodkind had a goal apiece as well as Pirie. Brendan Gallagher won 10 of 21 face-offs and grabbed a team-best six groundballs. Goalie Nate Gaudio allowed 23 goals in 54:50, while stopping 16 shots. Gabe Weissmann finished the contest allowing one goal and making a save in the final 5:10.
Chris Schoenhut paced the Jumbos with six goals, and two Jumbo goalies combined for 12 saves.
On Tuesday, the Panthers outlasted host Plattsburgh, 9-7, a result that left both teams at 1-1. Stephen Seymour sparked Middlebury with three goals, Broome and Sean Carroll each scored two goals and set up one, and Pirie assisted four scores. Gaudio stopped 10 shots, two fewer than Cardinal netminder Andrew Hauk.
Middlebury jumped out to a 4-0 first-period lead on Seymour’s first two goals and one each from Carroll and Broome. But only Gallagher scored in the second period as the Cardinals cut the lead to 5-4 at the half.
Plattsburgh then scored the first goal of the second period to knot the score at 5-5, but the Panthers tallied the next three goals over the course of the period to push their advantage to 8-5, with Seymour, Carroll and Chris Peterson finding the net.
The Cardinals scored with a second left in the third and at 10:06 of the fourth to pull within one, but finally Broome added the insurance goal at 4:42 on Pirie’s fourth assist to close out the scoring. 

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