Panther men’s lax rallies past Colby, eyes home playoff game
WATERVILLE, Maine — This past Saturday, the Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team defeated host Colby, 15-10, and moved closer to nailing down a home NESCAC quarterfinal.
The Panthers, ranked No. 9 in last week’s NCAA Division III poll, moved to 10-4 overall with their sixth straight win, 7-2 in NESCAC play, good for a three-way tie for second place with Amherst and Bowdoin behind 8-1 Tufts. Bates stood in fifth at 6-3.
All the teams were set to play their final regular season games on Wednesday afternoon, with the Panthers hosting Williams (8-6, 4-5 NESCAC) and looking for as high a seed as possible with a victory.
Against Colby (3-11, 0-9 NESCAC) on Saturday, the Panthers trailed early in the second half, 7-5, but scored eight straight goals to take control. Henry Riehl and Tim Giarrusso scored 1:11 apart to tie the score at 7-7 with 8:04 remaining. Jack Gould made it 8-7 with 25 seconds left in the quarter on a feed from Giarrusso, and Giarrusso scored 13 seconds later on an assist from Nick Peterson to make it 9-7 after three periods.
The Panthers netted four more goals to open the fourth quarter to take a 13-7 lead. Jon Broome, who extended his point streak to 13 straight games, assisted on a goal by Sean Carroll, and Jack Cleary made it 11-7. Riehl and Kyle Soroka added goals less than a minute apart to make it 13-7 with 10 minutes left, and the Panthers eased home from there, and one point leading by 15-8.
Giarrusso finished with three goals and two assists. Gould added three goals, while Soroka and Carroll each scored twice and had an assist. John Jackson won 20 of 22 faceoffs and scooped a game-high 14 ground balls. Peterson dished out a pair of assists and collected four ground balls.
Panther goalie Will Ernst made seven saves for the Panthers, and teammate Miller Steinle made a pair of stops in the fourth quarter. Colby goalie Dylan Rothenberg made 17 saves. Middlebury held advantages of 57-30 in shots and 32-23 in ground balls.
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