Men’s Soccer Battles #3 Tufts to 1-1 Draw

Daniel O'Grady netted his second goal of the season in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Tufts.
Daniel O'Grady netted his second goal of the season in Saturday's 1-1 draw with Tufts.

Middlebury and Tufts each scored a goal in the opening half and went scoreless over the final 90 minutes as the teams finished their NESCAC match Saturday in a 1-1 tie. The Panthers (4-2-3, 2-2-2) return to action Monday with a 4:30 p.m. non-conference tilt at Utica, while the third-ranked Jumbos (9-0-1, 5-0-1) are home Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. against Babson.

The hosts claimed an early lead, taking advantage of a penalty kick 1:10 into the contest. Middlebury's Ben Potter was fouled inside the Jumbo penalty area, setting up Daniel O'Grady's low shot inside the right post for the early lead. Tufts knotted the score at 1-1, when Sterling Weatherbie's diving header on a free kick by Brett Rojas found the back of the Panther net with 25:25 on the clock.

In the second stanza, Panthers nearly reclaimed the lead in the initial three minutes, but Potter's rising shot from the top of the penalty area went just over the cross bar. Tufts had back-to-back opportunities midway through the frame on consecutive shots by Zach Lane, but Middlebury keeper Matthew Hyer corralled each bid.

The Tufts defense fought off a late surge by the Panthers in the final two minutes, holding off a pair of corner kicks.

Middlebury's Henry Wilhelm had the only shot on goal in the opening 10-minute overtime, while Lane accounted for the only scoring chance in the second extra session and teams finished in a draw,

Hyer finished with four saves for the Panthers, while Conner Mieth had one stop for the Jumbos.

The Jumbos held a 16-8 edge in shots and possessed a 9-4 advantage in corner kicks.