Middlebury Defeats Trinity in NESCAC Tournament Quarters, Will Host Championship Weekend

Luis Echeverria had two goals and added an assist in Saturday's NESCAC Tournament quarterfinal victory.
Luis Echeverria had two goals and added an assist in Saturday's NESCAC Tournament quarterfinal victory.

Middlebury advanced to the NESCAC Tournament semifinals for the 14th time in 16 years after easing past Trinity (6-6-4) by a 5-0 score in a quarterfinal contest. Second-seeded Middlebury will host next weekend's semifinal and championship rounds after top-seeded Amherst fell in its quarterfinal matchup to eighth-seeded Wesleyan, 1-0. The Panthers (13-2-1) will play the Cardinals on Saturday at 11:00 a.m., while sixth-seeded Bowdoin and fourth-seeded Connecticut College will play at 1:30 p.m. The two victors will play in Sunday's championship game at noon.

The Panthers kept pressure on the Bantam defense from the opening kickoff with much of the match played at their offensive end for the first 15 minutes.

In the 17th minute, Trinity had its best scoring opportunity of the match when Sam Milbury raced down the right side and blasted a shot from 12 yards out that went just over the crossbar.

Luis Echeverria put the Panthers on the board at 19:39 with his second goal of the season, volleying a chipped ball by Daniel O'Grady out of the air on the far post. Echeverria struck again nearly five minutes later when he tapped in a free ball on the doorstep following a cross by Adam Glaser for a 2-0 Middlebury lead.

The score remained a two-goal advantage for the Panthers into halftime. Out of the break, the teams played the next 25 minutes of the half in the midfield before Middlebury induced a corner kick in the 72nd minute. On the corner kick sent in by Glaser, Kyle Moffat directed a bouncing ball with his chest to Greg Conrad, who headed it into the back of the net for his ninth goal of the season at 71:07.

With his assist on the Panthers' third goal, Glaser becomes the program's all-time career assist leader with 23, breaking the mark of 22 shared by Baer Fisher '09 and Kyle Dezotell '03.  

A little more than three minutes later, Glaser made it 4-0 for the hosts. He collected a loose ball near midfield off a chipped pass from Conrad and dribbled by his defender on the left side of the field beating Bantam goalkeeper Domenic Quade with a nifty shot to the upper-right corner. The goal tied Glaser with Conrad for the team lead with nine.

Tyler Bonini capped the scoring at 81:31 with his fifth tally of the fall when he found the back of the net following a pair of one-touch passes by Echeverria and Tom Dils from the right side of the pitch.

The five-goal output for Middlebury gives the squad a total of 46 for the season, breaking the record of 45 set back during the 1998 season. 

Middlebury finished the match with a 12-5 edge in shots, while Trinity possessed a narrow 4-3 advantage in corner kicks. Greg Sydor didn't have to record a save, posting his seventh shutout of the season and 15th of his career. Quade turned away two shots on the other end of the pitch for Trinity.