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Men’s lax upsets Wesleyan, advances to final four

MIDDLETOWN, Conn. — The Middlebury men’s lacrosse team, seeded seventh in the NESCAC tournament, on Saturday upset second seed Wesleyan, 11-7, as Panther sophomore goalie Tyler Bass made a career-high 17 saves.
The Panthers improved to 8-8 with the victory over the 12-3 Cardinals, who had been ranked No. 5 among NCAA Division III programs.
Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC final four and will play at 17-1 Tufts, the nation’s No. 3 team and tournament top seed. The Panthers will look for another upset at noon this Saturday. The Jumbos pulled away in the late going to defeat the visiting Panthers, 23-14, on April 20.
The other semifinal will pit No. 3 seed Williams and No. 4 seed Amherst. The winners will play at noon on Sunday for the league playoff title and the league’s automatic NCAA tournament bid.
The Panthers took charge this past Saturday with a 4-0 second-quarter run to take a 7-3 lead at the half. A.J. Kucinski scored the first two in the burst, while Will Brossman and Tyler Forbes capped it with goals eight seconds apart.
Middlebury extended the lead to 9-4 after three periods, and Wesleyan came no closer than 10-7 with 4:42 remaining in the game.
Kucinski led all players with four goals and two assists, while Forbes added three scores. Chase Goree chipped in with two goals, while Jack Gould added two assists. Goree also scooped up six ground balls, Jake Madnick controlled 18 of 21 faceoffs and scooped a game-best 14 ground balls, and Laurence Jackson caused three turnovers. Bass, who recently won the starting job, improved to 4-2 with his 17 saves, including 12 in the second half.
The Panthers held advantages of 48-38 in shots and 45-35 in ground balls and they avenged and earlier 12-6 setback to the Cardinals. Cardinal goalie Otto Bohan made 14 saves.

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