The fourth-seeded Middlebury men's lacrosse team advanced to the NESCAC Championship game after a 10-9 win over third-seeded Bowdoin in a contest played at Tufts. The ninth-ranked Panthers (12-5) will take on six-time defending conference champion Tufts in the title game on Sunday at 12:00 p.m. Thirteenth-ranked Bowdoin fell to 12-5 with the loss and will hope for an at-large bid to the NCAA Tournament.
Bowdoin got on the board courtesy of Daniel Buckman late in the period, but Middlebury scored the first two goals of the second quarter, again from Broome and Giarrusso, to extend its advantage to 5-1.
The Polar Bears trimmed the lead before intermission when Peter Reuter and Brett Kujala found the back of the net with under five minutes to go to make it 5-3 at the break.
The teams traded goals in the third quarter, as Middlebury received a score from Jack Gould with under a minute left in the stanza to carry an 8-5 lead into the fourth.
Bowdoin clawed back in the fourth quarter, with Kujala sparking a 3-1 run to open the quarter, as Brandon Rothman and Clayton Wright also scored to cut Middlebury's lead to 9-8 with 6:56 to go.
The Panthers replied less than a minute later as Gould scored an unassisted goal to make it 10-8 with 5:59 remaining.
Bowdoin answered with 4:22 to go as Tim Bulens' unassisted score cut the lead again to a single goal, 10-9.
The Panthers won the ensuing faceoff and maintained a long possession on offense that ran the clock under two minutes to go.
Bowdoin's Ryan Kenney forced a turnover and Andrew Cowan scooped up the ground ball with 1:07 remaining, as the Polar Bears transitioned to offense and a chance to force overtime.
The Polar Bears cycled the ball to Matthew Crowell with 20 seconds remaining, but his shot from about 10 yards out was stopped by Middlebury netminder Will Ernst to secure the victory for the Panthers.
Giarrusso led all scorers with four goals for Middlebury, while Sean Carroll scored twice and assisted on three others for the victors. Broome and Gould each added two goals, while Ernst finished with a dozen saves. John Jackson won 13-23 face-offs in the game, while Joey Zelkowitz picked up a team-high three ground balls.
Bowdoin was led by two scores from Brett Kujala, while Shawn Daly notched a pair of assists. Peter Mumford stopped 10 shots in net for Bowdoin.
Middlebury held a 44-38 advantage in shots in the game, as both teams went 1-3 with the extra man.