Middlebury Downs Williams in Season Finale

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – Leading 7-6 at intermission, Middlebury outscored Williams 7-3 in the second half for a 14-9 win at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The game caps the season for both squads, as the Panthers finish with a 4-9 overall record and 3-7 in NESCAC play, while the Ephs end their year at 3-10 and 1-9 in conference action.

After a 4-4 first quarter, Middlebury earned the first two-goal lead of the game in the second. A man-up tally by Stew Kerr at 14:10 followed by Tim Cahill's goal off a Mike Girdano feed at 11:07 gave the Panthers a 6-4 lead. Both teams exchanged goals later in the second before Evan Dedominicis collected the final goal of the half, for a 7-6 Panther advantage at the break.

Middlebury opened the third quarter with a 3-0 burst, building a 10-6 cushion with 4:32 left. Giordano set up Alex Englert at 9:36, as George Curtis followed with a helper from Andrew Metros at 7:39. Kerr capped the run on another man-up goal, this one off a feed from Erich Pfeffer. The Ephs stopped the run when Michael Hellstern notched his lone goal of the game with 1:03 left, cutting the Panther lead to 10-7.

Both teams exchanged goals to open the fourth quarter before Middlebury used another three-goal run for some breathing room down the stretch. Jack Balaban's two goals bookended a tally by Metros, giving the Panthers a 14-8 lead. The final goal of the game was on a last-second box-to-box clearing pass from David Doggett that landed on the stick of Williams' Andy Grabowski who quickly redirected the ball for the score.

Giordano scored a goal with four assists, Metros added two goals and two assists and grabbed game-high eight groundballs, while Kerr collected a hat-trick for Middlebury. Balaban and Cahill each scored a pair as goalie Nate Gaudio earned the win, stopping 11 shots on the day. The

Panthers were 3-5 in extra-man opportunities and held a decisive 40-26 groundball advantage.

Dedominicis, Grabowski and Colin Foster each scored two goals for Williams, as Sean Dougherty suffered the loss in net, allowing all 14 goals while making a dozen saves.

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MIDDLEBURY, VT––Williams (3-10, 1-9 NESCAC) fell 14-9 to NESCAC rival Middlebury (4-9, 3-7 NESCAC). The Ephs and Panthers have met 50 times since 1950 with Middlebury leading the all-time series 32-18.

The game marks the end of the season for both teams as well as the last game for Williams seniors Michael Acierno, Sam Hargrove, Mike Ryan, Barry Frett, Greg White, Charles Gephart, Tim Goggins, and David Doggett.

Williams was behind 7-6 at the half, with Colin Foster, Andy Grabowski, Mericos Rhodes, and Acierno combining for four goals in the first quarter. Middlebury kept pace with Williams, ending the quarter tied 4-4.

Middlebury jumped out to the lead in the second half, scoring two goals in quick succession. Foster brought the game back within one at 10:29, Panther Bucky Pierce scored again to give Middlebury seven to Williams' 5. Evan Dedominicis had the last word of the half, scoring with just over eight minutes left to play.

Middlebury went on a 7-3 run in the second half, scoring four goals in a row in the third quarter. Williams first year Michael Hellstern broke the streak, scoring his first goal of the season with a minute left to play in the quarter. He was assisted by Steven Kiesel.

Middlebury's Mike Giordano and Dedominicis exchanged goals in the opening minutes of the fourth quarter to make the score 11-8. The Panthers then scored three goals in quick succession to make the game 14-8. Grabowski, assisted by Doggett scored the Ephs' final goal with just one second left to play.


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