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Men’s lacrosse falls to top-five opponents

CANTON, N.Y. — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team dropped two close recent road games to teams ranked last week in the top five in NCAA Division III, 11-10 at St. Lawrence on Monday and 16-13 at No. 3 Tufts on Saturday.
The 2-2 Panthers will host NESCAC foe Wesleyan, weather permitting, at 2 p.m. on this Saturday.
On Monday, St. Lawrence (3-0) edged the Panthers, 11-10, after taking a 9-6 lead early in the fourth quarter. Middlebury then scored four goals in 4:07, with A.J. Kucinski scoring first before finding Henry Riehl 15 seconds later after a face-off win from Jack DeFrino. Harry Giarrusso tied the game at 9-9 before a goal from Jack Gould gave Middlebury a 10-9 lead with 7:43 remaining.
But the Saints’ Andrew Jarrett tied the game at 6:16 and assisted Jordan Dow’s game-winner at 3:45.
Middlebury took a timeout with possession and 25 seconds on the clock. Riehl got a shot off that went wide, and Saint goalie Alex Terry (six saves) denied Kucinski with seven seconds left as the Saints held on for the win.
Kucinski finished with two goals and two assists for the Panthers, while Jake Schneider scored twice. Jake Madnick finished with five ground balls, DeFrino had four, while Clay Hunt caused three turnovers. Will Ernst made seven saves and allowed six goals in the first half, while Will Perry stopped six shots and gave up five goals in second-half action.
Jarrett’s two goals and two assists paced St. Lawrence, while Conor Healey scored twice. 
On Saturday at Tufts (3-0) a Panther rally fell short in their 16-13 setback.
The teams were tied 9-9 after Kucinski scored with 5:19 remaining in the third quarter. The Jumbos netted the next five goals including three by Michael Mattson, to lead 14-9 at the end of the third. The Jumbos scored twice in the final 13 seconds of the quarter, one by Mattson and then a face-off win and goal by Tucker Mathers.
Middlebury scored four of the next five goals to pull within 15-13 with 10:21 remaining. Riehl started the Panther run with a pair of strikes less than a minute apart. A man-down goal by Kucinski got Middlebury to within two, but the Panthers came no closer.
Riehl’s four goals led Middlebury, while Kucinski finished with three goals and an assist. Madnick won 21 of 30 faceoffs for the Panthers, who also had a 53-49 advantage in shots. Ernst making four saves in the first half, and Perry stopping eight in the second half. Joey Zelkowitz and Madnick paced the Panthers with six ground balls apiece.
Mattson scored five times for Tufts, and Ben Connelly added three goals. Goalies Ben Shmerler (12 saves) and Robert Treiber (5 saves) combined for 17 stops. Treiber earned the win as Tufts prevailed after a 6-6 tie at the half.

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