This week in sports

Double trouble: Midd beats Amherst in double overtime thriller


The Middlebury football team won a close battle against the Amherst Mammoths in overtime, on Saturday, Sept. 5, maintaining its undefeated season. Prior to the game, both teams were undefeated, making this win a decisive factor in NESCAC standings. The Panthers now co-lead the conference alongside Wesleyan, who is still undefeated on the season.

The game’s excitement started with a Middlebury interception on the Mammoth’s first offensive drive. Kevin Hartley ’20 got the Middlebury fans onto their feet with the first defensive turnover on the game. This thrilling atmosphere would keep the Panthers’s momentum going throughout the subsequent three quarters, through a rollercoaster of emotions.

Middlebury started off going 21–0 against the Mammoths, thanks to a rushing touchdown from Alex Maldjian ’23 and passing touchdowns by Will Jernigan ’21 to  Maxim Bochman ’20 and Frank Cosolito ’20. After one Amherst touchdown, but two key Middlebury defensive stops right before the half, the momentum was still in the Panthers’ favor. The fans, excited and on their feet, could feel a win within reach.

A complete momentum shift at the second half enabled Amherst to tie the game, 28–28. Motivated to extend their win streak, and overcome a consistently tough NESCAC competitor, the Panther offense trudged down the field with one minute left on the clock. Less than 10 yards from the goal line, and seconds left on the clock, a shocking Mammoth interception led the game into overtime. 

During overtime, both teams failed to convert a field goal or touchdown in their first attempts. Tensions were high as the teams switched sides, both looking to maintain their undefeated seasons.

After the Amherst squad could not score during its second OT attempt, the Panthers had a shot to claim the game.  On third down, Jernigan escaped a Mammoth defensemen, rolled to the right side, and connected with Maxwell Rye ’20 for a nine-yard touchdown. The fans both near and afar erupted into cheers as the team piled in the endzone, keeping the winning streak alive and exciting.

“It was one of the best games I’ve been a part of,” offensive lineman Colin Paskewitz ’21 said when asked about the atmosphere of the game, “Throughout the second half when they began to come back, our fans and our bench stayed loud and hopeful. By the second overtime, I was as tired as I’ve ever been during a game. On the last play, [Jernigan] tossed the ball up to [Rye] and it felt like the ball had been in the air for an eternity before [Rye] came down with it. Immediately our bench rushed the field.”

The electric atmosphere of such a close battle was felt both at the Amherst stadium, and with the fans back at home.

“Words cannot describe the sense of pride and joy I felt after such a resilient win,” Paskewitz said.

Jack Pistorius ’21 was awarded NESCAC defensive player of the week, accumulating 13 tackles. Kevin Hartley ’20, Michael Carr ’20, Zander Bailey ’21 and Finn Muldoon ’23 each recorded an interception in the game, respectively.

Next week, on Saturday, Oct. 12, the Panthers will be back at home against Colby College (0-4) for an exciting homecoming weekend. Although the Panthers were elated with the results of the game, they know there is more to be done.

“It’s been an electric atmosphere,” Linebacker Pete Huggins ’21 said about the feeling of winning such an intense game. “Winning a game like that after working the entire offseason is such a rewarding feeling. At the same time, we know we’ve got more wood to chop. Our goal going into the season wasn’t to beat Amherst. Our goal is to win a championship.”

Women’s golf places third at conference qualifier


This past weekend, the Middlebury women’s golf team was one of six teams competing in the NESCAC Qualifier/Williams Fall Invitational at the Taconic Golf Club in Williamstown, Mass. After day one of the action, the host Williams led with 312 strokes, Amherst followed with 318, and Middlebury ranked third with 326. On Saturday, Katie Murphy ’23 led the squad by shooting a 77 which ranked her tied for second overall. Blake Yaccino ’20 shot second best on the team with an 80 which ranked her as tied for seventh overall. Chloe Levins ’20, after taking medalist honors last weekend, finished in 12th with an 81.

On Sunday, the girls were unable to reverse their luck as they remained in third place and finishing at 309 strokes for the day. These results put them at 635 overall behind Williams (619) and Amherst (624), but in front of Hamilton (679), Bowdoin (694) and Trinity (898). Murphy led the squad again, finishing with 75 strokes to put her at a 152 and third overall. Levins finished next on the squad with 159 (seventh overall), then Yaccino with 160 (ninth), rounded out by Kayla Li ’23 (164, T12) and Lizzie Kenter ’23 (178, 22nd).

It was a tough end to a very successful fall season in which the Panthers never finished below third place in any of their five tournaments and which featured memorable moments such as the squad’s first place finish at the Phinney Golf Classic last weekend where Levins finished first overall.

Cross country teams divide and conquer


Saturday, Oct. 5 featured two races for the Panthers: the Keene State Invitational and the Paul Short Invitational. 

In the Keene State Invitational, the men came in fifth place. Their top runner was Max Cluss ’23 who got eighth place with a time of 26:32.5. In the Paul Short Invitational, the men got 37th place. The top finisher was Henry Fleming ’20 with a time of 24:50.9, leading him to place 142nd.

In the Keene State Invitational, the women captured sixth place. A crucial finisher was Leah Metzger ’20 who place 34th with a time of `19:36.2. In the Paul Short Invitational, the women netted seventh place. Cassie Kearney ’22 was the top runner for the Panthers as a time of 21:30.8 got her 14th place.

The Panthers’ next challenge will be the Connecticut College Invitational on Saturday, Oct. 19. The team will have some extra time to prepare for the Invitational. Afterward, the teams will focus on championships.


Women’s soccer blanks Bates


Second-ranked women’s soccer defeated Bates College by a score of 5–0 on the road on Saturday, Oct. 5th. Midfielder Gretchen McGrath ’21 began the offensive beatdown when she scored during the ninth minute. Forward Simone Ameer ’21 made two consecutive goals at the 32nd and 44th minutes, while Quinn Rogers ’23 and Ellie Greenberg ’20 tallied goals at the 60th and 75th minutes, respectively. 

As always, the Panthers’ defense denied any opportunities to catch up. Bates attempted only three shots on goal, whereas Middlebury had 21. Ursula Alwang ’20 and Eva Shaw ’21 shared goaltender responsibilities and each recorded one save. 

The Panthers, however, committed eight fouls penalties compared to Bates’ four. 

The squad will get back in action against Colby in a homecoming contest this weekend at 11 a.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12th. The Mules sit at 1–4–2 in the conference compared to the Panthers’ 4–0–1. 

Men’s soccer suffers first loss, splits weekend


The men’s soccer team completed a Maine double-header on the weekend of Oct. 5-6. In their first game, the fifteenth-ranked Panthers suffered a close, 1-0 loss against Bates. This heartbreaking loss was their first of the season. Luckily, they had the opportunity to bounce back the next day.

On Sunday, Oct. 6, the team headed to Maine Maritime. After a 1-1 start, Middlebury dominated the match for the remaining 40 minutes of the game. Ben Powers ’23, Brendan Barry ’22, Drew Goulart ’20, and Jacob Charles ’23 added goals to give the team a convincing 5-1 win.

Jack Spiridellis ’21 was impressed with the teams resiliency this weekend.

  “It was awesome to get the win on Sunday after a tough loss on Saturday. There’s a lot of fight and hunger this year,” said Spiridellis. “Guys aren’t satisfied with mediocre performances.”

Next, the Panthers will face Colby at home for Homecoming. Get out to the turf and cheer them on!