Men’s Soccer Wins, Draws in NESCAC, Improves to 2-4-1 in Conference Play


Jack Freeman ’13 winds up for a strike during the Panthers win vs. Hamilton. (Campus/Biswash Ghimire).

By Owen Teach

The Middlebury men’s soccer team defeated Hamilton 2-0 on Saturday, Oct. 7 and tied Connecticut College 1-1 on Sunday, Oct. 8.

Harper Williams ’15 scored in the eighth minute on an assist from Dan Skayne ’15 to put the Panthers ahead. The pair connected again for Middlebury’s second goal in the 73rd minute when Skayne deposited his first goal of the season off a helper from Williams.

“As awesome as [Skayne and Williams] were scoring those goals, their most effective play has been in controlling the ball in the midfield,” said Ben Tabah ’13. “They both have unbelievable touch and natural instinct as center midfielders, and that has given us the confidence and ability to give them the ball and have them switch the field and distribute. They’ve been huge for us holding it down without [Jon] Portman ’13.”

Coach Dave Saward echoed Tabah’s praise.

“They’ve stepped into the breach and done a great job with their work rate,” said Saward. “Harper in particular plays every minute and his energy is stellar. I know they have the experience and confidence in themselves going forward. It was also nice to see them rewarded against Hamilton.”

Zach Abdu-Glass ’13 added four saves in the win.

The Panthers final game of the week against the Camels of Connecticut College featured a 1-1 draw that lasted through two extra-time sessions.

Jack Freeman ’13 opened the scoring in the 10th minute when he slotted a penalty kick inside the left post. The Camels answered early in the second, beating Abdu-Glass off a one-timed effort. Abdu-Glass performed well in the net again, recording 10 saves in the extended contest.

The Panther attack has come alive since Tuesday’s 3-0 win over Castleton, after an own goal in the 79th minute opened the floodgates. It took a bit of luck to rejuvenate a comatose attack and deliver a victory to a team ravaged by injury.

“We had outplayed Castleton from start to finish and once we caught a break on the own goal. It was only a matter of time,” said Sam Peisch ’13.5.

Insurance goals from Peisch and Ben Tabah ’13 followed. Since Tuesday’s game, the offense has found its footing.

“We’ve spent a lot of practice just getting the ball into dangerous areas and really going all for broke in the box,” said Tabah. “We have a swagger back because it helps to know we can get the ball in the back of the net.”

The 5-4-1 Panthers take on Trinity this coming Saturday, Oct. 13, before heading to Colby-Sawyer on Oct. 16.