Big First Quarter Propels #17 Men's Lacrosse Past Bowdoin

Jack Rautiola finished with three goals and added an assist during Saturday's win over Bowdoin.
Jack Rautiola finished with three goals and added an assist during Saturday's win over Bowdoin.

Middlebury opened the first quarter with a 6-0 run and cruised to a 13-7 NESCAC win over Bowdoin at Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium as 10 different Panthers scored in the contest. The victory pushes 17th-ranked Middlebury to a 6-1 overall record and a 3-1 mark in conference play. Both teams return to action in neutral site games on Wednesday as Middlebury faces second-ranked R.I.T in Baltimore, while the Polar Bears (1-5, 1-3) battle Plattsburgh State in Keene, New Hampshire.

In the opening run, Jack Rautiola had a pair of goals, including the ice-breaker at 10:28, as five other Panthers scored for a 6-0 lead. Rautiola also set up a Tim Giarrusso tally, while Jon Broome chipped in two of his season-high five assists during the run.

As time ran down in the first quarter, Bowdoin's Daniel O'Berry made a physical move in front of the crease scoring the Polar Bears' first goal with 0.4 left on the clock.

Bowdoin made it a 6-2 game to open the second on a man-up shot by Peter Reuter at 13:47. Seven seconds later, after winning the ensuing face-off, Middlebury's John Jackson broke into the Bowdoin defense and fed Rautiola for his hat-trick goal. David Nemirov sliced the Polar Bear deficit to 7-3 just over a minute later before Broome assisted on the final two Panther tallies of the half as Middlebury took a 9-3 lead into the break.

Broome's final assist opened the third quarter as he used a quick-stick feed to Joel Blockowicz who was cutting to the crease. After the teams exchanged goals later in the quarter, Broome scored his lone goal at 1:21 when he cut to the crease during a man-down situation moments after the Panthers cleared the ball. It was Middlebury's second man-down tally of the season.

Trailing 12-4 to open the fourth quarter, Brandon Lee gave the visitors a spark, scoring a goal at 10:54 and set-up the next goal at 9:05 feeding Shawn Daly in a man-up situation. With Middlebury leading 12-6, the Panthers held for several long possessions before the teams exchanged goals down the stretch for the 13-7 final.

While there were only three penalties called in the game, all against the Panthers, a goal was scored in each situation as Bowdoin scored on two man-up chances and allowed Middlebury to score in a man-down scenario.

Broome paced all scorers with a goal and his five assists, while Rautiola finished with three goals and one assist, as Giarrusso netted a pair and had one helper. Jackson won 12-19 face-off chances and grabbed a game-high seven groundballs to go with his assist, while Cal Williams picked up six rollers and caused two turnovers. Panther Goalie Will Ernst (6-1) earned the win with 11 saves, as Gabe Weissmann played the final 7:18, making one save and allowing a goal.

Reuter finished with two goals for Bowdoin, while Lee and Nemirov each added a goal and an assist. Robert Talcott won 9-21 face-offs, as goalie Peter Mumford (1-3) stopped 11 shots and paced the Polar Bears with five groundballs.