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Men’s lax opens by outlasting Bobcats

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team opened its season on Saturday by edging visiting Bates, 11-10. The Panthers held an 11-8 lead two minutes into the fourth quarter and then survived a late surge by the 1-2 Bobcats, who entered the game ranked No. 14 in NCAA Division III.
The Panthers will host another NESCAC foe, Connecticut, at 1 p.m. this Saturday.
On this past Saturday Bates took an early 2-0 lead, but the Panthers scored the next four goals, with Henry Riehl, A.J. Kucinski, Frank Cosolito and Michael McCormack finding the net. Bates then scored the final three goals of the first half to lead, 5-4.
Riehl struck twice to put the Panthers back on top in the third. Matt Chlastwa (four goals, three assists) scored at 11:33 to tie the game at 6-6. Goals from Riehl and John Jackson 13 seconds apart gave the Panthers an 8-6 lead, but the Bobcats cut the advantage to 9-8 entering the final period.
McCormack scored a man-up goal for the Panthers 17 seconds into the fourth quarter with a rising shot from the right side. And 1:42 later Chase Goree also scored with the Panthers up a man, converting a McCormack pass from the right side to make it 11-8.
That score held for nearly 10 minutes before Clark Jones of Bates scored at 3:44 to make it 11-9. The Bobcats added a goal with 34 seconds left, but Jackson won the ensuing faceoff, with Wes Quinzani scooping the ground ball, and the Panthers ran out the clock.
Riehl’s four goals paced Middlebury, while McCormack scored two with two assists. Kucinski recorded a goal and two assists. Eric Rogers paced the defense with eight ground balls, and McCormack added five. Goalie Charles Midgley made 16 stops. Rob Strain made 15 stops in goal for the Bobcats.

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