Middlebury, Vt. - A furious comeback by the visiting Trinity College Bantams from an 8-1 deficit fell short at the end, as the Middlebury College Panthers held on for a 14-12 win in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men's lacrosse action on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium this afternoon.
After a quiet first five opening minutes, the Panthers went on a 5-0 run. Mike Giordano opened the scoring as his shot leaked past Trinity goalie Mickey Zaverucha at 9:08. Giordano followed with an assist to Stew Kerr at 7:44 and following a Middlebury face-off win, Girodano netted his second just 21 ticks later. Goals by Joel Blockowicz and Jon Broome capped the run before Trinity’s Matt Cohen (East Lyme, Conn.) got the Bantams on the board with 53 seconds left on a man-up tally.
The Panthers built an 8-1 lead in the second as Stephen Brown sandwiched a goal between two Broome tallies as Giordano assisted on two goals. Trailing by seven goals, the Bantams went on a tear, closing out the half with their own five-goal burst. Cohen and Matthew Hauck (Ridgewood, N.J.) were responsible for the five tallies. Cohen opened with a goal at 10:33, followed by a pair from Hauck at 7:49 and 7:08. Hauck set-up Cohen’s third of the game on a long pass from behind the crease for a man-up goal at 6:40, cutting the Middlebury lead to 8-5. Hauck’s hat-trick goal at 1:51 was a nice transition shot in-close off a feed from Nick Shaheen (Williamsburg, MAss.), setting the score at 8-6 in favor of the Panthers at the half.
In the third, the teams traded goals twice during the quarter as Cohen scored both for Trinity and Middlebury held a 10-8 lead in the final seconds of third quarter action. During the hectic final seconds after a doorstep save by sophomore backstop Makar Zaverucha (Duxbury, Mass.), Giordano picked up the groundball from behind the cage and flicked in a lefty one-handed shot with four-tenths of a second to play in the third, for an 11-8 lead. Middlebury pushed the lead to 12-8 to open the fourth after a hectic face-off skirmish lasting over 20 seconds. After securing the win, defenseman Billy Chapman got the ball and darted to the net, scoring his first goal of the game. Once again, the teams exchanged a pair of goals, setting the score at 14-10, as neither Middlebury could pull away nor the Bantams get inside a three-goal deficit.
Trailing, 14-10, Shaheen got Trinity’s third man-up goal at 6:02 off a Chase Growney (Berwyn, Pa.) feed. At 2:09. Growney followed, notching his first and cutting the lead to 14-12. Middlebury won the ensuing face-off and a slashing penalty on the Bantams allowed Middlebury to eat a minute off the clock. After a save by Zaverucha, Trinity went on the attack, setting into the Panther zone with less than a minute on the clock. After their first shot on goal went wide, a final shot in the final seconds was stopped by Panther goalie Nate Guadio, securing the win.
Trinity’s Cohen finished with six points as well, including a game-high five goals and one assist. Hauck added a hat-trick and an assist, while Shaheen finished with two goals and a pair of helpers. Zaverucha finished with 20 saves. Panther face-off man Brian Foster won 21-28 attempts, while vacuuming up a game-high 12 groundballs. Giordano finished with six points, scoring three goals and assisting on three more, and Guadio finished with nine saves in net as the Panthers held a 57-36 advantage in shots, winning 46 groundballs to the Bantams 20.