This past Saturday, April 20, the Middlebury men’s lacrosse team suited up to take on Colby in front of parents, friends and alumni. The men had no problems with the Mules, running to a 16-10 win.
“Having the alumni up here for alumni weekend is always a lot of fun, and it is encouraging to see the support that we have from a group of people who really care about the program,” said goalie Gabe Weissmann ’15. “Given that last year’s game was a loss for us on alumni weekend, they were all really excited to see us dominate Colby, especially since Colby ended our hopes at making playoffs last year.”
The teams traded leads early, but a Middlebury goal from Mike Giordano ’13 kicked off a 10-goal barrage to give the Panthers solid control of the game. Jon Broome ’16 added a goal to give Middlebury a 4-3 lead before Erich Pfeffer ’13 added one of his own to give the Panthers a 5-3 lead at the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Tim Giarrusso ’16, Stew Kerr ’13 and Andrew Metros ’13 added goals to separate the Panthers from the Mules. By the end of the half, Middlebury had opened up a 10-3 lead.
Coming out of the break, Joel Blockowicz ’15 nailed a lefty shot to reopen the Panther scoring. By the time Colby was able to answer the Middlebury barrage seven minutes into the half, the Panthers had racked up a 12-4 lead which they would not relinquish. The teams traded goals in the fourth quarter – including a tally from Metros – and the Mules were able to trim the deficit to six, but the Panthers held on to win 16-10.
Giordano finished the game with three goals and two assists while Broome added two goals and two assists. Pfeffer and Metros added hat tricks to the stat sheets, while Kerr ended his penultimate regular-season game with two goals and an assist.
Nate Gaudio ’14 recorded 10 saves in the net for Middlebury before being relieved by Jack Reilly ’13 in the game’s final minute.
Middlebury out-shot Colby 53-36 on the day, including a 31-17 first-half advantage. The Panthers also held significant advantages in ground balls and turnovers.
“A combination of hard work, driven attitudes and an ability to play loose on game days are all contributing to the success of our season,” said Weissmann. “Our ability to continue to push ourselves in practice and never settle for mediocrity is a contributing factor as to why this year has been so different.”
After beating the Mules, the Panthers advance to 11-2 on the season and 7-2 in NESCAC play. The win also secured the team’s place in the NESCAC quarterfinals, which they will host this Saturday, April 27 on Youngman Field.
“We are going to approach this game as we do with every other game, worrying about what we need to do to carry out our game plan between the starting and ending whistles and nothing else,” said Weissmann.