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No. 2 Middlebury Outlasts No. 14 Men's Lacrosse, 12-10


SPRINGFIELD, Mass., March 17, 2004 – Despite a goal and three assists from Springfield College sophomore attackman Taylor Brown (Portsmouth, R.I.), No. 2 Middlebury College held on for a 12-10 victory over the No. 14 Pride this afternoon on a snowy Benedum Field.

Junior attackman Mark Foster (Dever, Colo.) registered a game-high six goals and one assists for the Panthers, in a rematch of last season’s second-round NCAA Division III tournament game, won by host Middlebury 11-9.

Four straight Middlebury goals, including two by Foster, put the Panthers up 4-0 after the first quarter of play. Senior attackman Craig Gibson (South Salem, N.Y.) put Springfield on the board with 13:32 to go in the second quarter, but Middlebury would tally three of the game's next four goals, including two more by Foster, to stake the Panthers to a 7-2 halftime lead.

Springfield would come back, scoring five unanswered goals in less than five minutes to knot the game, 7-7, with 10:25 remaining in the third quarter. After a Middlebury goal by senior attackman Mike Saraceni (N. Syracuse, N.Y.), at the 3:42 mark of the quarter, a goal by junior midfielder Derek Pedrick (Saratoga Springs, N.Y.) with 1:21 remaining in the quarter, tied the game at 8-8. With only :01 second on the clock, Foster converted a feed from Saraceni for his fifth goal of the game to put the Panthers up, 9-8, after three quarters of play.

Springfield would start the final quarter man-down after a three-minute illegal stick penalty was called, which Foster converted into his sixth goal of the game to put Middlebury up, 10-8, only :09 seconds into the quarter.

Springfield would kill the rest of the penalty before junior midfielder Adam Cost (Camillus, N.Y.) pulled Springfield within one with a man-up goal with 7:48 remaining in the game. Middlebury would need only :22 seconds to answer as senior midfielder Andrew Giordano (Washington, D.C.) put Middlebury up, 11-9, off a pass from Saraceni.

The Pride would pull back within a goal after the second tally of the game by junior midfielder Kevin Warnock (Somers, Conn.) with 6:02 remaining, but the Panthers would ice the game with a goal by junior midfielder Dave Leach (New Canaan, Conn.) at the 3:50 mark of the quarter en route to its second win to open the 2004 campaign.

Senior goalie Eric Krieger (Princeton, N.J.) made 10 stops for Middlebury (2-0), while freshman Kyle Cloutier (South Hadley, Mass.) was also credited with 10 saves in his second career start.

Saraceni finished the game with a goal and three assists, while senior attackman Charley Howe (Darien, Conn.) would total two goals and two assists for Middlebury, which has made five straight appearances in the national championship game, winning three-straight titles from 2000-2002.

A goal and two assists for senior attackman Paul Purdy (Brewster, N.Y.) moved him into a tie for 13th place on Springfield’s all-time scoring list with 148 points.

Pre-game Notes

Head To Head - Middlebury holds a 20-9 advantage versus the SC...last season, the Panthers knocked SC out of the NCAA Tournament with a 11-9 win in a second-round matchup in Vermont...MC also beat the visiting Pride, 11-7, during the regular season...SC was the only team to beat Middlebury in 2001 (23-10), when the Panters went on to win the second of three-straight national titles.

To Be The Best... - The first four opponents on SC’s 2004 schedule were all listed in the preseason national rankings, including three in the top-four (No. 4 Washington College, No. 2 Middlebury and No. 3 Cortland)...the poll also listed Hartwick as receiving votes...the Pride was ranked No. 14 in the preseason poll.

How Offensive! - SC returns the top-12 scorers from its 2003 offense that led the Pilgrim League and finished the season ranked sixth nationally in scoring offense (14.88 gpg) and fifth in scoring margin (7.06 gpg).

Taylor Made - SC sophomore A Taylor Brown has already established himself as one of the top players in the Northeast...the only underclassman named a preseason All-American in Div. III, he garnered Pilgrim League West Division Player and Rookie of the Year honors last spring...he leads the Pride with 12 points and 8 assists this spring.

Purdy Good - Senior A Paul Purdy is on his way to becoming one of the top scorers in school history...with 145 career points (91 G, 54 A), he is only 10 points shy of the SC top-10...a team captain this spring, Purdy is tied for 13th in career assists and tied for 14th in career goals at SC.

Rings and Banners - In 2003, the Pride won its third Pilgrim League Title and made its third appearance in the NCAA Divsion III Tournament in the last four years...2004 marks the 10-year anniversary of SC’s Division II National Championship, when it defeated New York Institute of Technology, 15-12, in the title game.
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