Men’s Lacrosse Withstands Late Bates Run to Win Opener

By Mary Claire Ecclesine

This past Saturday the men’s lacrosse team traveled to Maine to compete against Bates in their first game of the season. They beat the Bobcats 10-8, in spite of the 18-point shot advantage that Bates held over Middlebury. Members from all four classes contributed to the 10 goals, with first-years scoring the first two goals.

The first quarter concluded in a 1-1 tie, as less then three minutes into the game, Jon Broome ’16 scored his first career goal as well as the first goal in the team’s 2013 season with an assist from Andrew Metros ’13. However, three minutes later, Bates fired back with a goal to tie up the game 1-1.

Bates quickly scored in the second quarter to take the lead, but Harrison Goodkind ’16 came back for the Panthers, tying up the game once again. After much back and forth action, Bates eventually scored two more goals and got their biggest lead of the game at 4-2. Joel Blockowicz ’15 and Broome tapped in a goal each to bring back their squad and head into halftime with a tied game.

The third quarter began with a 5-4 lead by Bates but Billy Chapman ’13 swiftly picked up a ground ball after a Bates turnover, leading to a fast break for the Panthers, with Mike Giordano ’13 feeding Broome for the hat trick and a 6-5 Middlebury lead. Shortly after, Chapman and Broome got two more goals for the team, advancing them to an 8-5 lead with 3:57 left in the third quarter.

Stew Kerr ’13 entered the scoring column with 1:35 to go in the third, taking a feed from Metros and burying it past Bell to give the Panthers a 9-5. Kerr then made it 10-5 with 10:37 to go in the fourth quarter. Bates scored three more goals in the fourth quarter to finish the game with a 10-8 victory for the Panthers.

“Our offense really stepped it up in the third quarter, and the defense forced Bates to take difficult shots the entire game,” said Broome.

Bates outshot Middlebury with 47 shots on net compared to Middlebury’s 29. The Panther goalie, Nate Gaudio ’14 had a successful game with 17 saves. The team also forced 18 turnovers and won 36 ground balls.

Broome proved his talent in his first college game with four goals for the Panthers.

“Playing against Bates Saturday was an experience I will never forget,” remarked Broome. “The senior leadership has been amazing leading up to the season, and I knew we were well-prepared as a team.  I was definitely nervous going into the game, but Coach Campbell told me to treat it like any other lacrosse game, which helped calm my nerves.”

After a 4-9 season last year, the road NESCAC win was encouraging way for the team.

“Winning a NESCAC game on the road was a great way to start off the season, and I was glad I could contribute to the win,” said Broom.

The Panthers’ next game is this Wednesday afternoon, March 13, at 4:30 p.m. at Alumni Stadium against Springfield. Middlebury fell to Springfield by a 14-5 final tally a year ago en route to a 4-9 season record.

“To prepare for Springfield, we need to have two highly productive practices,” said Broome. “Everybody on the team is excited for the home opener, and if we play our game, we can definitely win.”

The men then resume NESCAC play on Saturday, March 16, with an away contest against Connecticut College.

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