Sports Recap

Cross country



The Middlebury cross country team competed in the Bates Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 14. The women finished in third place, while the men captured fourth place.

“The men’s and women’s cross country teams are excited now that the season is underway!” Talia Ruxin ’20 said. “It was awesome to lace up with the first-years this weekend, and we are feeling lots of positive energy.”

On the women’s side, Ruxin was able to capture seventh place with a time of 18:44.5, while Cassie Kearney ’22 came in 10th place with a time of 19:07.8. For the men, Quinlan McGaugh ’22 came in 10th place with a time of 26:34.4, while a time of 26:44.0 propelled Jack Litowitz ’20 to a 13th place finish.

“The Bates Invitational was a fun race and a great opportunity to run against some strong NESCAC competition early in the season,” McCaugh said.

Regarding the upcoming Aldrich Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 21, Litowitz was optimistic.

“A combination of the experience fresh off of a meet this past weekend, spiking up and running on our home course should allow the team to improve this week over last, and carry the positive momentum forward onto the bigger meets where it counts,” he said.




The Panther football team kicked off their season with a 17–13 win against the Williams Ephs on Saturday, Sept. 14, scoring the game-winning touchdown with less than a minute on the clock. 

The start of the second quarter opened up the scoring game. Carter Massengill ’20 put the first points of the game on the board, scoring a field goal from 25 yards out.

Later in the second quarter, the Panthers scored an 18–yard touchdown, gaining a 10–0 lead. The rest of the second quarter, however, was commanded by the Williams offense. Between the second and third quarters, the Ephs scored 13 unanswered points.

With just one minute and 30 seconds left in the game, the Panthers marched down the field behind Jernigan. A series of short passes and 10-yard gains led the Panthers to the 2-yard line, where Jernigan punched in the game-winning touchdown. Massengill tapped in the extra point, making the final score 17–13.

Men’s golf



The men’s golf team finished at the podium for this past weekend’s Duke Nelson Invitational. The Invitational took place at Middlebury’s Ralph Myhre Golf Course and featured 23 teams from around the region. After a strong start atop the standings at the end of day one, the Panthers finished the tournament in third place, just one stroke behind Williams. 

Jordan Bessalel ’21 and co-captain Jeffrey Giguere ’20 shined on day one, coming in at sixth and third place respectively. Giguere finished out day two in first place by one stroke ahead of Williams’ Will Kannegieser. Giguere earned a combined score of 142. Neither Bessalel nor Giguere’s heroics were quite enough to lift the Panthers into second place as a team.  New York University finished first. 

After a strong showing, the Panthers will have little time to rest before heading down to their rivals’ turf in Williamstown for the Williams Fall Invitational. 


Women’s golf



The Panthers outdid last year’s performance at the St. Lawrence Invitational, this year coming in second place out of nine teams. On Sept. 7–8, five players from the women’s golf team came together to accomplish this feat. Their impressive performance can largely be attributed to the work of Blake Yaccino ’20, who finished third overall out of 47 participants. Classmate Chloe Levins ’20 wasn’t far behind, finishing in a tie for seventh overall.                 

Coming off the strong showing at the St. Lawrence Invitational, the women then competed in the Ann S. Batchelder Invitational on Sept. 14–15. They came in third overall behind Williams College and Wellesley College. Katie Murphy ’23 finished tied for second overall out of 42 golfers, shooting a two-over par 146 (74–72). Yaccino finished tied for fifth at 154 (76–78), while Levins finished tied for 18th with a 164 (84–80). Elizabeth Kenter ’23 finished tied for 27th, shooting a 169 (85–84), and Kayla Li ’23 finished in 29th with a 170 (85–85). The Panthers will be swinging back in action next week at the Mount Holyoke Invitational.

Men’s tennis



The men’s tennis team fell just short of divisional titles in four of four singles brackets this past weekend at the Middlebury Invitational on the Proctor Tennis Courts. 

Though the squad is currently beginning a rebuilding process after losing its top two players to graduation, a bright future might not be so far away. The top singles flight saw unseeded Stan Morris ’22 blaze through to the finals, taking out the No. 3 and No. 2 seeds in the process. 

Robby Ward ’23 also made a run to the finals in the B singles draw, knocking off No. 1 seed Brandeis sophomore Jeff Chen. David Vilys ’22 and Zach Hilty ’22 also made it to the finals in their respective C and D singles draws, and will look to use the momentum to propel themselves into a consistent starting role come spring time. 

Surprisingly, the two doubles draws were devoid of Middlebury teams past the quarterfinals, likely owing to sets of entirely new doubles pairings. 

The tournament featured teams such as Tufts University and Brandeis College, with whom the Panthers will have to contend if they want to stay at the top of DIII tennis. 

Men’s soccer



After starting the NESCAC season with a scoreless double overtime tie, the Panthers traveled last weekend to Brunswick, Maine to take on the Bowdoin Polar Bears. For the second week in a row, the Panthers struggled connecting with the back of the net. The team finished with six shots on goal compared to Bowdoin’s 15 and neither were able to score. The game ended at 0–0. 

The man of the match was goalkeeper Ryan Grady ’23. Grady made six saves to complete his second shutout of the year. The Panthers remain positive despite not scoring in two consecutive games. 

“We have been doing all the right things,” Jack Spiridellis ’21 said. “We just need to put the ball into the back of the net, then we will win games.” 

Up next, the Panthers played their home opener against Mt. St. Mary of New York on Sept. 17 (which occured after this issue was sent to print). The Panthers will round out the week with a home double-header this weekend against Hamilton on Saturday and Castleton on Sunday, Sept. 22.

Women’s tennis



The Middlebury women’s tennis team journeyed down Route 7 this past weekend for the Lindsay Morehouse Invitational at Williams College. The invitational followed a round-robin format in which the Panthers competed against three other teams in a full weekend of doubles and singles. No individual team was awarded champion. 

On Friday, Sept. 13, three of four doubles pairs picked up victories against Skidmore. The following day, Middlebury swept RPI in three doubles matches, but only took two of three doubles matches against Williams. For singles, Middlebury swept RPI in all five contests. 

Middlebury faced Skidmore again on Sunday for singles and won four of six matches. Against Williams, the Panthers won all three singles matches and won their only doubles contest. 

The women will use this weekend to prepare for the ITA Regional Championships that kick off at home on Sept. 27.

Women’s soccer



Women’s soccer had another successful week, winning both of this week’s games to put them at five total wins and zero losses.

The Panthers first faced SUNY Plattsburgh on the road. Despite solid play from their opponents, Middlebury was ultimately able to shut them out two-zip with goals from captain Jinx Charman ’20 and Leah Salzman ’21, and the help of strong defensive play. 

Middlebury then hit the road once again to play the Bowdoin Polar Bears, having to put up a tougher fight in their second game of the week. The Bears got an early lead, scoring within the first eight minutes of play. The Panthers matched them with a goal from Salzman, but were unable to pull ahead until the very end. With just a minute and a half of game time left, captain Ellie Greenberg ’20 was able to hook one into the side of the net, securing the win.

The Panthers now have a week to regroup and prepare before their next match against conference-opponent, Hamilton College, on their home turf this Saturday, Sept. 21.




Middlebury Women’s Volleyball fell to an undefeated Clarkson on an unlucky Friday, Sept. 13, and split their weekend contests with a win over Potsdam and a loss to St. Lawrence on Saturday, Sept. 14. 

In their first battle of the weekend against Clarkson, the Panthers came out expecting a war. Although they put some numbers on the board, they ultimately fell in straight sets to the 23rd-ranked team in the country. Gigi Alper ’20 led the Panther defense, picking up 13 digs for the night. Jane Nelson ’22 built on her teammates’ efforts and led the offense with six kills. 

After a hard loss, Middlebury got back to work. The women triumphed over Potsdam with a decisive 3–0 victory. This time around it was Maggie Wise ’22, who took control of the Panther offense tallying 11 kills. 

Although the Panthers were hungry for more, the women fell just short of a victory over St. Lawrence. Middlebury rolled through the first two sets before St. Lawrence stole the next two right back. Middlebury was then defeated by the Saints in the fifth set 15–12. 

The Panthers will journey to Maine over the weekend, where they will compete against Colby on Friday, Sept. 20 and Bates on Saturday, Sept. 21.

Field hockey



Field hockey fared successfully on their Sept. 14–15 road trip, defeating ninth-ranked Bowdoin College and 18th-ranked Babson College, 1–0 and 2–0, respectively. The Panthers had difficulty stirring up scoring opportunities during the first half against the Bowdoin Polar Bears. But they gained momentum in the third quarter, outshooting the Polar Bears 3–0. Finally, the Panthers scored 30 seconds into the fourth quarter. The 1–0 score remained until the end of the game. 

Against Babson, Middlebury struck early twice in the first quarter. The Panthers struggled scoring for the remainder of the game, but still made some spectacular stops.

Correction: A previous version of the cross country recap included outdated information and dates.