The Middlebury men's lacrosse team scored the first six goals of the game en route to a season-opening 16-12 victory at Bowdoin (0-1, 0-1) on Saturday afternoon. The Panthers (1-0, 1-0) return to action next Saturday, opening the home portion of their schedule with a 1:00 faceoff against Conn. College.
Sparked by Tyler Forbes, the Panthers raced out of the gate with six unanswered goals. Forbes scored twice and assisted on two others to give the visitors the early 6-0 advantage.
Bowdoin finally broke through courtesy of Kendall Rogers at 5:10 of the opening quarter and closed the gap to 6-3 at the end of opening period.
The Polar Bears made it a one-goal game, 6-5, midway through the second quarter, but Middlebury replied with a 3-0 run heading into the break, capped by a pair of Danny Jacobs tallies that gave the Panthers a 9-5 cushion at the half.
Consecutive goals by Matt Ward and Sam Langan out of intermission cut the Middlebury lead to two, but the Panthers slowed the momentum with a 3-0 run of their own, featuring a pair of scores by Michael McCormack that increased their lead to five goals (12-7).
Bowdoin cut the lead to three goals on two occasions in the fourth quarter, coming with 14-11 with 10:32 to go, but A.J. Kucinski dashed the comeback hopes with a late goal and assisted on another as the Panthers held on for the 16-12 victory.
Jacobs paced Middlebury with five goals, while McCormack scored three. Forbes, Kucinski, Chase Goree and Will Brossman each scored twice for the Panthers. The two tallies for Kucinski give him 100 for his career. Andrew Ng had two caused turnovers and three ground balls for the Panthers.
Bowdoin was led by five goals from Chris Fowler and four from Ward in the loss. Caleb Geitz and Andrew Merrell had two caused turnovers and two ground balls each for the Polar Bears.
Tyler Bass stopped 12 shots for Middlebury while Bowdoin's Jack O'Connor made 15 saves.
Middlebury owned a 52-36 advantage in shots, taking advantage of 20 Bowdoin turnovers.