Middlebury scored twice in a span of 3:17 to close the opening half and added a late insurance goal en route to a 3-1 triumph Wednesday over Norwich in its season-opening match. The Panthers (1-0-0) begin NESCAC play on Saturday when they host Connecticut College at 11:00 a.m., while the Cadets (1-2-0) host Rivier on the same day.
After a scoreless opening 40 minutes, Middlebury scored twice in the last five minutes of the first half to take a 2-0 lead into the halftime break. Ben Potter opened the scoring in the 41st minute, heading home a free-kick service from the left side of the field by Daniel O'Grady.
Shams Mohajerani extended the visitor lead to 2-0 with 50 seconds left in the half with a beautiful turn around shot from 30 yards out. With his back to the goal, Mohajerani turned on a dime to his left and curled a long shot into the top-right corner of the net, leaving NU goalkeeper Brendan Germano with no chance.
Norwich cut the deficit to 2-1 in the 54th minute when Staige Davis potted a crossing pass from Camilo Estrada that pin-balled around the box.
Middlebury capped the scoring in the 75th minute when Potter notched his second goal of the match.
Jeremy Yeager made one save on two shots on goal for the Panthers, while Germano had six saves for Norwich in the loss. Middlebury possessed a 23-6 edge in shots. With the victory, the Panthers now hold a 52-3-4 advantage in the all-time series with the Cadets.