The Middlebury men’s soccer team tallied a 2-0 mark during a pair of matches last week to begin the 2016 season. The Panthers scored four-straight goals in a span of 13:36 during the second half en route to a 4-1 home triumph Wednesday over Norwich. Middlebury followed that performance with a lone goal from sophomore Daniel O’Grady (New York, N.Y.) in the 32nd minute for a 1-0 road NESCAC victory Saturday over Connecticut College.
On Wednesday afternoon, the hosts had the better of the early scoring chances, taking the first seven shots of the contest. Despite the early chances from Middlebury, the Cadets netted the lone goal of the half when Greg Zydanowicz’s short cross from the right side deflected off a Middlebury player and went directly to Jake Zimmerman. Zimmerman rolled a low shot into the far corner for his third goal of the season in the 24th minute.
Middlebury had a bid for the equalizer in the final minute of the opening half when a diving header from senior Luis Echeverria (Caracas, Venezuela) was denied by Cadet goalkeeper Ryan Fitzpatrick.
Trailing 1-0, the hosts pulled in the 58th minute when they took advantage of a corner kick. Senior Adam Glaser (Washington, D.C.) served the restart into the Cadet penalty area, connecting with the head of sophomore Kyle Moffat (Berkeley, Calif.), who directed the ball into the back of the net.
Less than four minutes later, Middlebury took the lead for good on a play that began on the Panther side of the field. A nice through ball by O’Grady sprung Glaser on a break before the senior tucked a shot into the lower-right corner for a 2-1 lead. Senior Philip Skayne (Boxborough, Mass.) made it a two-goal match just 2:32 later, one-timing a cross by Glaser from the right side.
The Panthers capped the scoring in the 72nd minute when senior Tom Dils (Williamstown, Mass.) headed in a corner kick by rookie Drew Goulart (Weston, Mass.).
Glaser led all players with a goal and two assists in the match, moving into second place on the Panther career scoring list. The forward has accumulated 79 points on 27 goals and 25 assists for 79 points, surpassing the 78 points recorded by Tor Hultgren ’61.
Panther senior keeper Greg Sydor (Madison, Conn.) recorded a pair of saves, while Fitzpatrick had four stops in the first 73:30 for the Cadets. Alex Grant played the final 16:30 without recording a save for the visitors. Middlebury held a 21-6 edge on shots.
In Saturday’s win over Connecticut College, O’Grady scored in the 32nd minute for the match’s lone goal. Breaking down the left side, he drew Camel goalkeeper Mark Cameron off his line before sliding a shot into the back of the net.
The Camels nearly tied the game with 8:40 to go when Pat Devlin made a terrific effort to convert with a bicycle kick from the six-yard line, but Sydor made the save to preserve the lead. Ben Manoogian came close to knotting the match in the 68th minute, but Sydor once again came up big on an attempt from point-blank range.
Sydor made six saves to earn the victory, including his 17th career shutout. Mark Cameron had six stops for the hosts.
• Men’s soccer record: 2-0-0
• Up next: 9/17 vs. Amherst – 12:00 p.m.