Middlebury dropped its season opener, falling 17-10 on the road at Bates (2-1, 1-0) on Sunday afternoon. The Panthers (0-1, 0-1) return to action next Saturday when they travel to Connecticut College at 2:00 p.m.
Trailing 1-0, Middlebury answered with five of the next six goals scored, with three of the Panthers' five tallies in the first quarter coming off the stick of Tyler Forbes. Forbes scored with just 10 seconds left in the first to put the Panthers up by three (5-3).
The game turned in the second quarter. Bates blanked Middlebury 4-0 to take the lead before halftime. Brendan Mullally connected with Otis Klingbeil for the go-ahead score with 1:16 left in the half, making it 6-5.
The teams traded goals to begin the third quarter before the Bobcats used a 5-0 run to go up 12-6. Will Brossman made it a 12-7 game with a goal 10 yards out driving to his right, but Klingbeil answered for a 13-7 Bobcat lead after 45 minutes.
The Panthers scored two of the first three goals in the fourth quarter, including a nice feed from Chase Goree to Forbes, but still trailed 14-10 with 11:21 left to play.
After four scoreless minutes, Bates recorded three of the final four tallies to secure the win.
Forbes paced Middlebury with four goals in his collegiate debut, and Alderik van der Heyde added three of his own. Jack Hoelzer ended up with two goals and one assist. Charles Midgley played 45 minutes in the cage and made 10 saves on 23 shots, while Tyler Bass recorded four saves in the fourth quarter. Jake Madnick finished with five ground balls, while Zeke Emerson scooped up four.
Mullally had a huge game for Bates with six goals and five assists, while Klinbeil scored five times. Mitchell Drake made nine first-half saves, while Rob Strain made six in the second half.