The Middlebury men's soccer team scored three-straight goals in the first half, erasing an early deficit for a 3-2 NESCAC triumph Saturday at Trinity. The Panthers are unbeaten (4-0-2) in their last six games with five of those contests coming on the road. Middlebury (6-2-3, 3-2-2) has a quick turnaround, facing Wesleyan at home Sunday at 12:00 p.m.
The visitors came close to opening the scoring with just under 17 minutes expired on a nice pass from Michael McFarlane. He carried the ball deep into the right corner and served a cross to the front of the net where Ben Potter one-touched it on goal, but Bantam keeper Everett Lyons made a highlight-reel save diving to his right.
Trinity countered with 18:27 expired, as Alistair Matule ran onto a long pass from John Mullin and beat Middlebury goalie Matthew Hyer with a low shot into the left side of the net. The Bantams doubled their lead five minutes later with Matule netting his second of the contest. He took a pass in the top-left corner of the Panther penalty area and hooked a shot inside the far post for a 2-0 lead.
The Panthers trimmed one goal off the deficit, as Drew Goulart netted his first tally of the season from point-blank range with 11:26 showing on the clock. Middlebury pulled even 3:47 later on a long outlet pass from Raffi Barsamian to Daniel O'Grady. O'Grady carried the ball to the net and slid a shot past Lyons just inside the right post. The visitors took their first lead of the contest with 1:27 left before the half when Aidan Robinson charged the net on a free kick by Brendan Barry and headed in his third goal of the season.
Middlebury pressed for a two-goal lead early in the second stanza with O'Grady just missing from close range, putting a shot past the left post. In the middle stages of the half, the ball bounced around the Bantam penalty area and ended up on Goulart's foot, but he poked his shot wide of the right post.
After scoring what turned out to the game-winning goal in the first half, Robinson turned in the best defensive play of the game for the Panthers to protect the lead late in the second. The Bantams got the ball deep into the Middlebury end of the field with Henry Belt getting possession on the left side of the penalty area. Belt directed a shot past Hyer, but Robinson stopped the ball on the goal line and cleared it out of harm's way.
Hyer had one stop to earn the win in goal for the Panthers, while Lyons recorded eight saves.
Middlebury held a 16-6 edge in shots and took eight of the game's nine corner kicks.