The Middlebury men’s soccer team returns to action this fall after winning their final 10 regular season games and earning an NCAA tournament berth. The Panthers will look to build on this momentum as they chase the elusive Nescac title. Leadership appears to be strong; Ben Potter ’20 and Aidan Robinson ’20 will take over as captains, while Head Coach Alex Elias ’08 will embark on his second season at the program.
The Panthers began their season this past week with games against Norwich and NESCAC rival Wesleyan. The Panthers took care of Norwich 2-0, with Potter ’20 scoring off a volley in the 12th minute and Drew Goulart ’20 sealing the deal in the 70th minute. Wesleyan presented a tougher test for the Panthers. After 90 minutes and two overtime periods, the Panthers had to settle for a draw. While not a terrible result, hitting the post twice made the Panthers feel like this was their game to win.
“It was a difficult game against Wesleyan on Saturday. They were a well-organized team and difficult for us to break down,” said Captain Ben Potter ’20. “That being said, we still felt like we had the better of the game and created some great chances to build off going forward.”
Looking ahead, the Panthers will travel to Maine this weekend to face Bowdoin in their second Nescac game of the season. Just a few days later on Tuesday, Sept. 17, the Panthers will play their home opener against Mt. St. Mary of New York at 4 p.m. The Panthers return many of their key contributors from last season, including eight of their top ten goal scorers.
Evident from their offseason preparation, the Panthers are ready to attack the season.
“Everyone came in fit and ready to compete throughout our grueling schedule,” said Tanner Hellickson ’21. “We’re all looking forward to our next big Nescac game against Bowdoin this weekend.”