No. 14 Middlebury Scores Late to Edge Wesleyan

MIDDLEBURY, Vt. With the score tied 6-6 and 1:03 left in the game, Middlebury's Sean Carroll notched a transition goal, giving the hosts a 7-6 lead that stood up against NESCAC rival Wesleyan (4-2, 2-2) on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. Divergent styles clashed as the normally up-tempo Panthers (5-0, 3-0) faced the Cardinals' zone defense that has not allowed more than seven goals all season.

The 14th-ranked Panthers got on the board first after the initial face-off win by Brian Foster. A string of passed eventually freed Stew Kerr for a quick shot and a 1-0 lead at 14:10. The Panthers had an opportunity to build their lead with a two-man advantage lasting a minute, in which reserve Cardinal goalie JD Dieterich was called to duty as starter Mark Simmons had to serve a slashing penalty. A pair of Middlebury shots were wide, as Simmons returned to the game after the Cardinals cleared the ball.

About two minutes after the two-man advantage, Wesleyan's Matt Prezioso tied the game at 4:16. The Panthers took a 2-1 lead later in the first on a George Curtis tally, capping the first quarter action.

Wesleyan tied the game at 2-2 in the second on a righty sweep move by Graham Macnab at 3:33. Panther Jon Broome took a Harrison Goodkind pass in traffic near the crease and slotted a shot past Simmons with 11 seconds left in the half for a 3-2 Middlebury lead.

The Cardinals continued to counterpunch, answering each Middlebury score, as Aiden Daniell put a bounce shot past Middlebury goalie Nate Gaudio at 12:43 in the third, tying the score again. The Panthers finally put a pair of goals together as Broome notched each one, including a fast-break tally for a 5-3 lead. Between the Broome goals, Middlebury again had a two-man advantage, this one lasting 39 seconds, but their lone shot was blocked.

Wesleyan answered with two goals of their own, as Prezioso notched his second of the day at 2:26 in the third, while Daniell netted the equalizer at 14:00 in the fourth quarter. Broome was part of the next goal, setting up Kerr after a failed Cardinal clear, giving Middlebury a 6-5 lead with 11:03 left to play. The Cardinals tied it for the fifth time when David Murphy took a rebound of his own miss and scored at 4:38.

On the eventual game-winner by Carroll, Zach Driscoll forced a Cardinal turnover deep in Middlebury's zone and pushed the ball to Carroll on a great transition pass for the final goal of the game. After the Foster secured the face-off win, the Cardinals took a trio of penalties with 14 second left and, as the game ended, Wesleyan was whistled for two more, giving the Cardinals 15 penalties for the game.

Broome finished with three goals and an assist, as four others added helpers, while Kerr finished with a pair of goals for Middlebury. Foster had a nice day with face-offs, winning 11-16 and nabbed five groundballs, while Darric While collected a game-high seven groundballs. Gaudio made nine saves, adding a desperation first quarter horn-beating, full-field shot on goal that his Wesleyan counterpart saved.

Prezioso and Daniell each had a pair of goals for Wesleyan while Murphy added one and assisted on another. Simmons took the loss in goal, playing 58:55, while making a season-high 15 saves. Dieterich played his 1:05 in the first quarter, grabbing a groundball.

2013-03-23



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