The Middlebury men's soccer team dropped a 2-0 NESCAC contest to Colby at home on Saturday. The Panthers (5-3, 2-3) return to action tomorrow when they host Plymouth at 2:00 p.m., while the Mules (4-3-1, 2-2-1) will entertain Husson on Tuesday.
Colby wasted little time getting on the board when Lucas Pereira capitalized on a loose ball in front of the Panther goal, just 2:37 into the first half, making it 1-0. Middlebury had an opportunity to tie the game 5:10 later, when Jeremy Barovick's powerful shot slipped through Mule goalkeeper Avery Gibson's hands, just missing the crossbar. At the 22:36 mark, Colby had three opportunities within 20 seconds to increase the lead, but Panther goalie Jeremy Yeager denied two attempts, while one was blocked.
Out of the intermission, Colby's Cam Clouse buried the ball in the upper-left corner of the goal on a free kick, making it 2-0 at the 54:11 mark. Middlebury's best opportunity to cut the deficit in half came 6:26 later, when Fazl Shaikh fired a shot from the six that went just left of the goal. The Panthers had another chance late in the game, when Drew Goulart ripped a shot from the right side that Gibson made a diving save to deny. The Mules' defense clamped down and allowed only one shot in the final 5:05 of the game to record the shutout.
Yeager finished with six saves, while Gibson had three to pick up the win. The Mules outshot the Panthers 14-11.
Today's match served as the annual Michael P. Russell Memorial Cup contest. This cup was established in memory of Michael Russell, who graduated from Middlebury in 1998. He passed away in 2011 at the age of 36, leaving behind a wife and two daughters. Michael had siblings attend both Middlebury (Steve) and Colby (Chris), thus setting up the annual contest between the schools.