Men’s Lacrosse Outscored in Game Against Nationally-Ranked Jumbos Invitational

By BOBBY SULLIVAN

In a matchup against No. 4 nationally-ranked Tufts, the Middlebury men’s lacrosse team was looking to earn a huge win and gain momentum going into its final week before playoffs. Unfortunately, the Panthers could not keep up with Tufts’ fast scoring offense and lost 23-14. They fell to 7-7 on the year, but remain in sixth place in the NESCAC standings. 

The game was very tightly contested throughout the first half. Tufts opened up the scoring, but Middlebury rebounded with a goal by leading scorer Tyler Forbes ’22 at the 8:59 mark. The teams kept alternating goals, but Middlebury’s only lead in the game came halfway through the first, when A.J. Kucinski ’20 rattled off two stifling goals to put the team in the lead 3-2. At the end of the first, Tufts led the Panthers 5-4.

Forbes quickly scored again in the second to tie the game. Again, it was back and forth, with both teams displaying great defense and offense. It is fair to say the game was played at a very fast pace, packed with a ton of action and great scoring plays. Middlebury scored a man-up goal towards the end of the half to put them within one of the Jumbos, after Jack Sheehan ’22 ripped a shot from about 15 yards out. At the end of the half, the Panthers were down 10-9. 

In the second half, things started to go the right way for the Jumbos. Their offense really picked up and Midd had a tough time controlling the attack. Middlebury was able to hang around for most of the quarter, with Forbes and Alderik van der Heyde ’21 keeping the scoring going for the Panthers. However, Tufts scored the five goals to put them in the lead 17-13 going into the final frame.

Rain started to fall as the game progressed, but that did not stop the Jumbos. In the final quarter, Tufts outscored the Panthers 6-1 and closed the game out. On the day, Forbes had five goals to keep up with his fantastic season on offense. Kucinski also netted five of his own, with two assists. In goal, Tyler Bass ’21 played most of the minutes at 57:04. He had 13 saves on 36 shots. Although it was a tough game for the Panthers, their offense showed their ability to score and the defense showed some signs of hope. 

The Panthers have one game left in conference play, as they will travel to No. 8 Williams on Wednesday. With a win, the Panthers can gain great momentum going into the playoffs. They are excited for what they have in store and know what needs to be done to compete in the incredibly tough NESCAC conference.

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