Hartford, Conn. – Senior midfielder Tim Giarrusso (Hingham, Mass.) capped off a six-goal performance with the game-winner with 54 seconds left in overtime, spoiling a valiant upset effort by home-standing Trinity College, and leading the visiting Middlebury College Panthers to a 11-10 win over the Bantams in New England Small College Athletic Conference (NESCAC) men’s lacrosse action this afternoon on Sheppard Field. Trinity falls to 3-9 overall and 1-7 in the NESCAC with its second loss in a row, while No. 8-ranked Middlebury improves to 9-4 overall and 6-2 in the league with its fifth consecutive victory. The Bantams led, 9-5, early in the fourth quarter but Middlebury scored five times in a row and Trinity needed a game-tying goal by senior captain Mike McQuiston (Greenwich, Conn.) to force the extra session. Trinity senior captain attackman Seth Bird (Concord, Mass.) had a stellar game with two goals and three assists, while classmate Henry Coote (Wayne, Pa.) made 21 Bantam saves.
Middlebury ended a 8:35 scoring drought by both teams to start the game on a goal by senior attackman Jack Rautiola (Acton, Mass.), and Trinity did not get on the scoreboard until Bird scored from first-year attackman Ben Knaus (Ross, Calif.) nine seconds after the second quarter’s opening faceoff. Bird returned the favor with a feed to Knaus that gave the Bantams a 2-1 lead with 10:28 left in the first half and completed a 4-0 Bantam run with an assist on a goal by senior attackman Ryan DeSimone (Saint James, N.Y.) with 6:26 left before the break. Panther rookie middie Jack Gould (Prides Crossing, Mass.) with 5:29 on the clock sent the squads into intermission with Trinity ahead, 5-2.
Giarrusso and Gould scored early in the third quarter to pull the Panthers to within 5-4 just over five minutes after halftime, but Trinity sophomore Jack Sharrio (Marblehead, Mass.) scored a man-up goal with 3:14 left in the third to ignite a 3-1 spurt and put the home team ahead, 8-5 after three periods. Coote made two stops in the final 30 seconds of the third quarter.
Knaus scored from Sharrio 1:30 into the final frame, but the Panthers took their first lead since the opening stanza, 10-9, thanks to a 5-0 run that included three Giarrusso markers and the go-ahead tally by senior midfielder Kyle Soroka (Boxboro, Mass.). Bantam junior defenseman Aidan Keohane (Westwood, Mass.) forced a turnover that set up McQuiston for the game-tying goal in transition with 2:17 on the clock, and Coote came through with two more clutch saves in the last minute of regulation. Middlebury junior defenseman Jack DeFrino (Norwalk, Conn.) caused a turnover in his own end to give Middlebury its final possession, and Coote stopped one Panther shot in the overtime before sophomore attackman Henry Riehl (Reisterstown, Md.) found Giarusso for the clincher.
Trinity held a 23-20 shooting advantage after two quarters but Middlebury outshot the Bantams, 37-11, after the break, and the Panthers also won 12 of 16 faceoffs after halftime. Bird’s five points paced the Trinity offense and he added three ground balls, while DeSimone finished with a hat trick, Knaus had two goals and one assist, and Sharrio added a goal, two assists, and four ground balls. Middlebury sophomore John Jackson (Hood River, Oregon) scooped a game-high six ground balls and won 15 of his 25 faceoffs, while Defrino finished with four ground balls and two caused turnovers, and junior goalie Will Ernst (San Francisco, Calif.) made 11 saves for the visitors.