The Middlebury men's soccer team dropped a 3-0 NESCAC contest at Bates (7-5-2, 2-5-2) on Saturday. The Panthers (9-5, 4-5) return to action Tuesday when they host Williams in the regular-season finale at 3:00 p.m.
The Bobcats wasted little time getting on the board when they took advantage of a penalty kick just 2:13 into game. PJ DiBenedetto scored with a low shot that tucked inside the bottom left post, for his first goal of the season. The penalty kick was the first in a game for the Panthers this year.
Bates increased the lead at the 22:25 mark on a play initiated from a corner kick by Drew Munoz. Middlebury goalkeeper Jeremy Yeager denied the cross from Munoz by punching the ball out into play. After a scramble in front of the net, Nate Merchant used his head to get the rebound, before DiBenedetto's shot found the back of the net.
In the second stanza, the Bobcats made it a 3-0 game in the 53rd minute when Liam Goldfarb threw the ball to Max Watson on the near post, who one-timed the ball into the far left corner of the goal.
The Panthers' final chance to add a tally came 11:55 later when Davis Oudet crossed the ball from the right to Sass, whose shot was blocked by Bobcat Sam Huebschmann.
Yeager had five saves in goal for the Panthers, while Robbie Montanaro was forced to make just one stop for the Bobcats.