Glaser Leads Men’s Soccer to Win

By Andrew Rigas

The Middlebury men’s soccer team consistently outplayed Colby at home on Saturday, Oct. 3 en route to a 3-0 win. Adam Glaser ’17 sparked the Panther offense, setting up his fifth goal of the season and scoring his sixth goal of the season. Because he is now co-leader of the NESCAC in both assists and goals scored, the NESCAC named Glaser Player of the Week for his consistently spectacular efforts against Hamilton last Tuesday, and Colby on Saturday.

Just over a minute in, Glaser collected a clearance off a corner kick and used his speed to push the ball down the left side with incredible pace. He bent a cross in front of the net that Daniel O’Grady ’19 headed into the back of the net for a quick 1-0 lead, and his second goal of the season. Things seemed a little random for the rest of the first half, and the Panthers took their one goal advantage into the halfway point.

Middlebury dominated the game during the second half, and inevitably found weak spots in the Colby defense. Glaser was aggressive all game, firing five of his seven shots on target. In the 63rd minute, Deklan Robinson’s ’16 long pass soared over Greg Conrad ’17 and the Colby defense to Glaser, who tapped the ball just to the left of the Colby goalkeeper.

“Our offense has been much sharper recently,” Glaser said. “I think our midfield is doing a great job of winning the ball in dangerous areas and finding us quickly. Our offense has been more deliberate lately, which allows us to get more numbers forward, and press the ball in better spots. Conrad has been playing incredibly well. He holds the ball up for us and allows our offense to build, and he also attracts so many players when he’s on the ball that he opens up a ton of space for us. If our offense and midfield can keep having fun but also make smart decisions, it will be very hard for teams to stop us.”

A little over 12 minutes later, the Panthers added one more for good measure on a corner kick. Glaser put the ball in the middle, Tom Dils ’17 got a head on it, and Robinson flicked the ball to Kirk Horton ’17, who settled and finished it.

Greg Sydor ’17 preserved the Panthers’ 3-0 shutout with an outstanding lunging save in the 83rd minute.

The statistics illustrate well how the Panthers controlled the game and why they won 3-0, as they outshot the Mules 23-5 and held the ball for the majority of the 90 minutes.

Middlebury improved its record to 6-1-1 overall and 3-1-1 in the NESCAC with the win, and shot to second place in the NESCAC standings — only behind undefeated Amherst, who gave the Panthers their sole blemish of the season.

With the win, the Panthers also recaptured the Michael P. Russell Memorial Cup, after falling to Colby last year. Russell was a captain of the Middlebury soccer team who passed away in 2011 at the age of 36. Russel’s siblings, who attended both Middlebury and Colby, set up the memorial cup.

Middlebury has a huge weekend coming up. They will travel to play defending national champion, Tufts, on Saturday, Oct. 10, and Wesleyan on Sunday, Oct. 11. These teams occupy fourth and fifth place in the NESCAC standings respectively, so there are obviously big implications in this back-to-back for the Panthers.

“We have a huge weekend away at Tufts and Wesleyan this weekend,” Glaser said. “Tufts is currently on a skid but is an excellent team. We are hitting form at just the right time, and if our defense can keep this level up, we have nothing to fear. At our current level, we’re the best team in the ‘cac, but we know it won’t be handed to us, and it will take a great effort to have a successful weekend away from home against two very good teams.”