NEW LONDON, Conn.--The Middlebury College men's lacrosse team mounted a 6-0 second half run to take the lead for good in a 13-9 triumph at Connecticut College Saturday.
The Panthers improve their record to 2-1 with the victory while evening their mark at 1-1 in the NESCAC. The Camels fell to 0-3 and are 0-1 in conference action.
Senior midfielder Joel Blockowicz (Potomac, Md.) had three goals and three assists to lead the Panthers on offence. Junior attackman Jack Rautiola (Acton, Mass.) scored three goals while assisting on two others to finish the day with five points. Jon Broome (Mountain Lakes, N.J.) added two goals and two assists for the winning side.
Sophomore Will Ernst (San Francisco, Calif.) had a nice day in the cage, recording 14 saves for the Panthers.
Connecticut College sophomore attackman Ross Thompson (Carmel, N.Y.) scored three goals and doled out a pair of assists en route to a five point day. Senior Briggs Barton (Rye, N.Y.) and sophomore John Cunningham (Cheshire, Conn.) both had two goals and an assist in the close contest. Tucker Mscisz (Topsfield, Mass.) tallied two scores for the hosts in the setback.
Rookie face-off midfielder Ben Parens (pictured, Sleepy Hollow, N.Y.) won 16-of-25 battles at the X, posting a 64% winning percentage to go with his game-high eight ground balls.
Junior Bobby Bleistein (Oyster Bay, N.Y.) finished with 11 saves in goal.
Msciisz scored twice in the opening quarter and the Camels carried a 4-2 lead after one. In the second quarter, the Panthers pulled to within 5-4 when Blockowicz cashed in on an extra man opportunity, burying one for the visitors from the right side of the box. But the Camels responded with an extra man goal of their own. Thompson was able to make a nice feed from behind the cage for Barton, who one-timed one past Ernst to make it a 6-4 contest.
Middlebury had the last scoring chance of the half but Bleistein was able to make a terrific stick save on Jon Broome's shot from point blank range and the Camels carried the 6-4 advantage into the break.
But in the third quarter, the visitors outscored the Camels 5-to-1 to take control of the contest. Sophomore Nate Smith-Ide (Pottstown, Pa.) stuffed one in with a shot coming from just outside the goal mouth with 1:13 remaining to make it a 9-7 game.
Middlebury scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter. Blockowicz capped the 6-0 run when he scored with 10:26 remaining to vault the visitors out to an 11-7 advantage.
But the Camels would not go away. Barton assisted Thompson for a goal with 8:04 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 11-8. Then, with 5:59 remaining, Thompson took matters into his own hands when he split a pair of Middlebury defenders and rifled one home for the Camels and suddenly it was an 11-9 game.
But Middlebury pushed their lead back to 12-9 when Rautiola scored on a feed from Blockowicz with 3:15 to go and the Camels could not get any closer.
Middlebury was able to hang on for the 13-9 victory. A spirited crowd of 225 showed up to support both teams on a frigid Saturday.
Shots were even at 39 aside. The Camels held a slim 26-to-25 edge in ground balls.