Middlebury's Henry Wilhelm scored the game's only goal in the latter stages of the second half, as the Panthers collected a 1-0 home NESCAC win Saturday over 10th-ranked Amherst. The victory was the first for new Middlebury head coach Alex Elias. The Panthers (1-1-1, 1-1-0) return to the field Tuesday at Mount St. Mary for a 7:00 p.m. start, while the Mammoths (2-1-0, 1-1-0) are home next Saturday against Williams.
In a hard-fought contest, the scoring chances were limited in the opening stanza with the hosts getting an opportunity in the final 10 minutes. Drew Goulart created some space deep on the left wing, but his crossing attempt was headed wide of the far post by teammate Ben Potter.
The best chance for Amherst came with just under four minutes left as Matteo Mangiardi worked his way along the end line and sent a low cross into the Panther goalmouth. Panther defender Michael McFarlane stepped in front of the pass and cleared it out of harm's way.
In the second frame, Middlebury notched the only goal of the contest when Wilhelm jumped on a loose ball in the Mammoth restraining area. He directed a low shot inside the left post for his first career goal with 18:50 remaining.
The visitors made a push for the equalizer, with the best chance coming with 7:40 showing on the clock. Panther goalie Matthew Hyer corralled a header by Sebastian Derby following a flip throw by Bryce Johnson. Hyer made his fourth and final save on a header by Christopher Lewis, earning his second shutout in three starts. Mammoth goalie Michael Stone finished with five saves.
The tight match saw the hosts hold a slim 14-13 lead in shots, while Middlebury took three of the game's four corner kicks.