MIDDLEBURY, Vt. – March 22, 2007 -- The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team improved to 3-0 on the season with an impressive 9-3 victory over Springfield College on Wednesday at Kohn Field.
Panther goalie Alex Palmisano was spectacular, tying a career-best in saves with 18 as the Middlebury defense held the Pride to their lowest scoring output of the season. Both teams return to action on Saturday as Springfield faces off against Mass. Maritime at 1 pm at Benedum Field, while Middlebury hosts NESCAC rival Bowdoin College.
In the first quarter, a penalty was called on Springfield's starting goaltender Kyle Cloutier that set up the Panthers first goal as Will Simpson scored at the 10:53 mark. Cloutier's back-up, Tom Albano, allowed the goal. Jim Cabrera made it 2-0 later in the first as he drilled a shot under the left arm of Cloutier who was back in the net. Springfield answered with 1:45 left in the first when Adam Toutain took it upon himself to get to the cage, fighting off several Panthers in the process, cutting the Middlebury lead to 2-1.
The second quarter saw Cloutier take his second penalty of the game. Albano once again had to face the Panthers with one less defender. Cabrera scored a man-up goal on Albano off a nice feed from Simpson with 12:09 left. Middlebury added another score to make it 4-1 going into halftime as Cabrera set up Tom Petty's cutting catch-and-shoot goal with a nice low feed.
The Panthers built a 6-1 lead in the third quarter before Springfield's Joe Heney picked up a ground ball deep in Middlebury territory. Heney would connect from in close cutting the score to 6-2 with 5:39 left. Petty would tally his second goal of the game with less than two minutes left to extend the margin back to five.
In the final quarter, the Pride cut the lead to 7-3 with a man-up goal by Greg Welch who picked up a ground ball after a save by Palmisano and snuck one past the goalie from point blank range. Middlebury tacked on two more goals, one by Cabrera and another by Pete Smith on a man-up advantage to give the Panthers a 9-3 victory.
Cabrera led all scorers with three goals and an assist, while Petty collected two, and Smith and Simpson had a goal and assist each for the Panthers. Toutain, Heney and Welch each had a goal for the Pride. Palmisano made 18 stops for Middlebury while Cloutier made 12 saves for Springfield. The Panthers won 12 of 15 face-offs and picked up 47 ground balls to the Pride's 35.
Springfield SCORING: GOALS: Adam Toutain 1; Joe Heney 1; Greg Welch 1
Middlebury SCORING: GOALS: Jim Cabrera 3; Tom Petty 2; Mike Stone 1; Pete Smith 1; Will Simpson 1; Peter Mellen 1
ASSISTS: Nick Bastis 1; Jim Cabrera 1; Matt Ferrer 1; Frank Granara 1; Will Simpson 1; Pete Smith 1; Mike Stone 1
SHOTS - SPR 31; MID 29
PENALTIES - SPR 6/5:00; MID 5/4:00
MAN-UP OPPORTUNITIES - SPR 1-5; MID 3-6
FACEOFFS - SPR 3-15; MID 12-15
CLEARS - SPR 19-28; MID 22-27
GOALIES - SPR: Tom Albano (00:53 minutes, 0 saves, 2 GA), Kyle Cloutier (59:07 minutes, 12 saves, 7 GA)
MID: Alex Palmisano (60:00 minutes, 18 saves, 3 GA)
Start time: 4:00 pm