Middlebury moved out to a 15-7 lead after three quarters and held off a late push by visiting Hamilton, en route to a 17-14 NESCAC victory Wednesday on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers (4-5, 3-3) remain at home for another conference contest on Saturday when they host Colby at 1:00 p.m., while the Continentals (3-5, 1-5) entertain Trinity at the same time.
The teams traded the first four goals to start the contest before tallies by Will Brossman on a shot from the left driving toward the goal and Frank Cosolito from 10 yards away on the left gave the Panthers a 4-2 advantage. Chad Morse scored with 1:01 left in the opening frame, pulling the visitors to within one at the end of the first quarter.
In the second stanza, Chase Goree scored three times in a span of 2:38, sandwiched around a Morse goal, giving the Panthers a 7-4 edge with 11:02 left. Just 2:01 later, Zeke Emerson tallied his first career goal on a shot from 20 yards out, giving Middlebury an 8-4 lead. Both sides recorded two goals over the remainder of the frame, including an unsettled score by Hamilton's Ben Gardner with 1:02 showing on the clock for a 10-6 Middlebury halftime cushion.
Out of the break, the Panthers outscored the Continentals by a 5-1 tally in the third quarter as five different players posted a goal. Goree recorded his fourth of the day at 13:34, while A.J. Kucinski found the back of the net during a fast-break opportunity 2:15 later for a 12-6 lead. Zach Larsen scored on a sharp-angled shot from the right for Hamilton near the midway point of the quarter, before the Panthers netted the final three scores for a 15-7 edge.
The fourth quarter saw the Continentals rattle off four-straight goals to begin the stanza, including a pair by Henry Hunt on a spinning shot from eight yards out following by a bouncing attempt, slicing the deficit to 15-11 with 9:24 left on a man-up tally. Cosolito glanced a pipe and ricocheted in from the right side, while Luke Peterson tallied via an odd-angled shot from the left, extending the lead to 17-11 at the 5:48 mark. Morse notched the final three goals of the contest, including the final one on a wraparound attempt with 37 ticks left, for the final 17-14 score.
Offensively for Middlebury, Goree led the way with four goals, while Kucinski had three goals and an assist. Jake Madnick scored once, scooped up 11 ground balls and went 18-35 at the faceoff X. Eric Jeremiah had three ground balls, while Charles Midgley finished with a season-high 19 saves in goal with six stops in the final quarter.
Morse scored six times and added an assist for Hamilton, while Hunt had three goals and a helper. Quinlan Crowley had six ground balls and went 17-35 on faceoffs, while James Sanderson had an assist and caused a pair of turnovers. Max Scheidl made eight saves in 30:00 of action, while Seamus Fagan had six stops in the final two quarters.
Hamilton held slights advantages in shots (51-46) and ground balls (41-36) in the contest.