First-Quarter Run Lifts Middlebury Over Hamilton

John Jackson won 8-9 faceoffs and picked up four ground balls in Wednesday's win.
John Jackson won 8-9 faceoffs and picked up four ground balls in Wednesday's win.

The Middlebury men's lacrosse team recorded five-straight goals over a stretch of 11:25 of the first quarter on its way to a 12-6 NESCAC victory at Hamilton (1-9, 0-6) on Wednesday. The Panthers (4-5, 2-4) remain on the road Saturday for a conference contest at Colby beginning at 1:00 p.m.

Chris Conley gave the Continentals the early lead one minute after the opening faceoff as he tucked the ball inside the right post. Frank Cosolito evened the score at 1-1 for Middlebury with 12:51 remaining in the first. The Panthers followed with four-unanswered goals over the remainder of the quarter, as Parker Lawlor had a tally and an assist during the run.

The visitors extended that momentum into the second quarter when Henry Riehl scored with 12:07 left, extending his goal-scoring streak to 16-consecutive games. Matt Saltzman scored his first of the game with 11:19 left in the second to make the score 6-2, before A.J. Kucinski regained the five-goal lead for Middlebury at 9:13 on a man-up tally. Chad Morse and Clay McCollum, who tallied a man-up goal, brought the Continentals back to within three at 7-4, but Middlebury's Danny Jacobs made the score 8-4 just 45 seconds before the half. 

After a scoreless third quarter, Kucinski netted his third goal of the contest with 11:38 left. Scores by McCollum and Saltzman, sandwiched around a tally by Middlebury's Chase Goree, made it 10-6 with 7:10 left in the final quarter. Goree found the back of the net twice less than a minute apart, the final time on a man-up goal with 4:59 left, giving the Panthers the 12-6 win.

Goree and Kucinski both produced three goals and one assist apiece to lead the Panthers. Kucinski's point streak moved to 26 games, as the four-point output gives him 99 for his career (53-46-99). Jacobs added a goal and game-best three assists. Charles Midgley made 12 saves in goal during the victory. John Jackson won 8-9 faceoffs and picked up four ground balls, while Jake Madnick and Riehl each scooped up four rollers.

Saltzman and McCollum both scored twice for the Continentals. Eric Zurmuehle led all players with five ground balls for the hosts, while Matt Greene caused three turnovers. Kyle Gately made eight saves in goal for the hosts.