Panther men’s lacrosse tips Bates

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team picked up two more wins in recent action, including a home victory on Saturday over then No. 6 Bates. The Panthers, winners of three straight, improved to 7-4, 5-2 in NESCAC play, and climbed to No. 10 in the NCAA Division III poll released on Monday.
The Panthers were set to visit Springfield on Wednesday before traveling to Trinity on Saturday.
On this past Saturday, the Panthers bolted to a 9-3 halftime lead on the way to taking down Bates, 15-12. The Bobcats (8-3, 4-3) dropped to No. 13 in the rankings with the setback.
Middlebury opened the game on a 4-1 run. Jack Rautiola cashed in a Bates turnover at 12:01, and six minutes later Tim Giarrusso made it 2-1 with an assist from Jon Broome. After a Bates score, goals by Giarrusso and Sean Carroll made it 4-1 after one period.
Bates scored quickly to open the second quarter, but the Panthers went on a 4-0 run — two goals by Carroll and one each from Jack Gould and Kyle Soroka. Bates came to within five (8-3) before Cedric Rhodes swatted a loose ball out of the air just in front of the crease to give the Panthers a 9-3 lead at the break. Another Rhodes goal with the Panthers a man up made it 10-3.
Bates closed to within 11-8 early in the fourth, but Middlebury answered with goals by Soroka, Broome and Carroll to regain a six-goal lead with 6:44 remaining.
Carroll paced the Panther attack by scoring four times, while Giarrusso (three goals, an assist) and Rautiola (a goal and three assists) both produced four-point games. John Jackson led all players with 12 ground balls and won 23 of 30 faceoffs. Will Ernst made nine saves in goal for Middlebury.
Jack Allard, NESCAC’s leading scorer, poured in five goals for Bates, and Bobcat goalie Mitchell Drake made 12 saves for the visitors. Middlebury held advantages of 49-33 in shots and 30-26 in ground balls.
 On April 6, the Panthers defeated host Hamilton, 12-8. Hamilton is 3-7, 1-6 NESCAC. The key stretch came when the Panthers went on a 5-0 run to open the second half and snap a 4-4 tie.
The Panthers scored on their first five shots of the third quarter. Carroll and Giarrusso both had two goals during the run, and Broome scored the other. Hamilton later closed to within 11-8 in the fourth, but Rautiola added a pad goal with 5:41 to play.
Giarrusso scored four goals, Rautiola scored twice and added an assist, while Jack Cleary and Gould each scored once and assisted two goals. John Jackson paced the Panthers with seven ground balls, while Harrison Goodkind scooped up five. Eric Rogers and Jon Hurvitz ended the contest with three caused turnovers apiece. Ernst made 12 saves, while Continental goalie John Schisler made seven stops.

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