Middlebury used a four-goal burst to break an early 2-2 tie en route to a 13-9 finish over Trinity on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers' win secures a home NESCAC quarterfinal game against a yet-to-be-determined opponent on Saturday. Both teams round out their respective NESCAC regular season on Wednesday as ninth-ranked Middlebury (11-4, 7-2) travels to 19th-ranked Williams, while the Bantams (4-10, 2-7) host sixth-ranked Amherst.
Middlebury's Jon Broome broke a 1-1 tie scoring on a rare three extra-man possession at 8:02 of the first quarter off a Joel Blockowicz assist. Trinity's James O'Connell followed with the 2-2 equalizer, before the Panthers went on their four-goal run.
Kyle Soroka assisted on the first two goals of the run, including a cross-field assist to Jack Rautiola at 9:38 of the second quarter. Rautiola scored the next Panther goal as he collected a crease-feeding pass from Henry Riehl at 8:24. Riehl capped the run with his second of his game-best three assists on a 30-yard pass to Sean Carroll, as Middlebury took a 6-2 lead into halftime.
The teams each exchanged two goals in the third quarter, giving the Panthers an 8-4 lead to start the fourth. O'Connell scored his second goal off a Ben Preston assist at 11:49 to make it 8-5. Middlebury followed with a three-goal spurt, capped by Broome's second tally at 7:36, giving the hosts an 11-5 cushion. Trinity countered with a pair of goals over the next two minutes including a man-up score by Matthew Hauck at 5:30, resetting the four-goal Panther cushion at 11-7.
The teams finished the game exchanging two goals apiece for the 13-9 final as Rautiola netted his hat trick, while Trinity's Hauck scored his second.
Rautiola's three goals and Soroka's goal and two assists matched the three assists by Riehl to pace the Panthers. Chase Clymer, Carroll and Broome each finished with two goals, as Cal Williams collected a team-best nine groundballs and forced two turnovers. Will Ernst (11-3) earned the win in net, making 13 saves.
Hauck, O'Connell and Michael McQuiston each scored two goals for the Bantams, as Ryan DeSimone added a goal and an assist. JP Masaryk won 17-25 (68%) of his face-offs and collected a team-best nine groundballs. Mickey Zaverucha (4-9) collected a baker's dozen of saves in goal.