Men’s Lacrosse Posts Pair of Four-Goal Victories

Joel Blockowicz finished with a pair of goals during Wednesday's game.
Joel Blockowicz finished with a pair of goals during Wednesday's game.

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team recorded a 2-0 week. The Panthers took an early 3-0 lead over visiting Plattsburgh State en route to a 10-6 home win Tuesday under the lights in a game moved to Kohn Field. On Saturday, Middlebury mounted a 6-0 second-half run on its way to a 13-9 NESCAC triumph at Connecticut College.

In Tuesday’s victory, senior Joel Blockowicz (Potomac, Md.) started the early 3-0 burst on a righty dodge at 13:15 in the first quarter, as junior Jack Cleary (Bethesda, Md.) and rookie Henry Riehl (Reistertown, Md.) notched tallies later in the frame. The Cardinals made it a one-goal game on a pair of man-up tallies from Austin Belz. His first goal capped the scoring in the first quarter, while his second goal, on a crease feed from James Read at 5:06 in the second quarter, made it a 3-2 contest. Cleary answered for the Panthers on a 10-yard shot at 3:47 in the second as Middlebury took a 4-2 lead into halftime.

The Panthers made it a 6-2 game in the third quarter with a pair of goals. Riehl put a man-up shot past Plattsburgh goalie Matt Massaria at 13:08, followed by Cleary's hat trick goal at 6:05. After both teams exchanged goals to close out the third quarter, Plattsburgh scored two goals in the opening minute of the fourth quarter, making it a 7-5 game. Read was on both ends of each score, netting his second goal at 14:41 and setting up Ryan Hubbard at 14:02.

In the final 13 minutes of play, 10 of the game's 22 penalties were called as each team added man-up goals, including a two-man advantage score by Plattsburgh's Brendan Damm at 9:14. Leading 8-6, the Panthers scored a man-down tally on a doorstep shot from junior Tim Giarrusso (Hingham, Mass.) at 8:45 off an assist from junior Jon Broome (Mountain Lakes, N.J.). Junior Kyle Soroka (Boxborough, Mass.) capped the scoring at 2:28 for the Panthers on another man-up goal.

Cleary finished with three goals for Middlebury, while Giarrusso added two tallies and Soroka netted one and added an assist. Junior Harrison Goodkind (Branford, Conn.) finished with six groundballs, while rookie John Jackson (Hood River, Ore.) won 8-15 face-offs. Sophomore Will Ernst (San Francisco, Calif.) earned the win in net for the Panthers making 19 saves.

Read finished with three assists and a goal, while Belz scored two goals on only two shots. Joey Kromer won 10-20 face-offs and grabbed a team-best six groundballs. Massaria made 12 saves in goal for Plattsburgh State, as reserve goalie Chris Guzzetta allowed one goal in the final 3:04 of play.

On Saturday, Blockowicz had three goals and three assists to lead the Panthers on offense. Junior Jack Rautiola (Acton, Mass.) scored three goals, while assisting on two others to finish the day with five points. Broome added two goals and two assists for the winning side. Ernst had a nice day in the cage, recording 14 saves for the Panthers.

Connecticut College's Ross Thompson scored three goals and doled out a pair of assists en route to a five point day.  Briggs Barton and John Cunningham both had two goals and an assist in the close contest. Tucker Mscisz tallied two scores for the hosts in the setback. Ben Parens won 16-25 battles at the X, posting a 64% winning percentage to go with his game-high eight ground balls. Bobby Bleistein finished with 11 saves in goal.

Msciisz scored twice in the opening quarter as the Camels carried a 4-2 lead after one. In the second quarter, the Panthers pulled to within 5-4 when Blockowicz cashed in on an extra man opportunity, burying one for the visitors from the right side of the box. The Camels responded with an extra man goal of their own. Thompson made a nice feed from behind the cage for Barton, who one-timed a shot past Ernst to make it a 6-4 contest.

Middlebury had the last scoring chance of the half, but Bleistein made a terrific stick save on Broome's shot from point blank range and the Camels carried the 6-4 advantage into the break.

In the third quarter, the visitors outscored the Camels 5-1 to take control of the contest. Sophomore Nate Smith-Ide (Pottstown, Pa.) stuffed one in with a shot coming from just outside the goal mouth with 1:13 remaining to make it a 9-7 game.

Middlebury scored the first two goals of the fourth quarter. Blockowicz capped the 6-0 run when he scored with 10:26 remaining to vault the visitors out to an 11-7 advantage.

The Camels would not go away. Barton assisted Thompson for a goal with 8:04 remaining that trimmed the deficit to 11-8. Then, with 5:59 remaining, Thompson took matters into his own hands when he split a pair of Middlebury defenders and rifled one home for the Camels and suddenly it was an 11-9 game.

Middlebury pushed its lead back to 12-9 when Rautiola scored on a feed from Blockowicz with 3:15 to go and the Camels could not get any closer.

• Men’s lacrosse record: 2-1
• Up next: 3/10 @ St. Lawrence – 5:00, 3/14 vs. Wesleyan – 2:00