Potter’s Goal Leads Middlebury to Win Over Hamilton

Ben Potter scored with 31:59 remaining in Saturday's contest.
Ben Potter scored with 31:59 remaining in Saturday's contest.

Middlebury's Ben Potter scored with 31:59 left in regulation, leading the Panthers (3-0-2, 1-0-2) to a 1-0 NESCAC win over Hamilton Saturday on South Street Field. Middlebury, which remains the country's lone team to surrender a goal (490 minutes), returns to action Sunday when it hosts Castleton at 1:30 p.m., while the Continentals (1-4-0, 0-3-0) travel to SUNY Oneonta on Tuesday at 4:30 p.m.

Middlebury had the match's initial opportunity to score in the sixth minute when Brandon Reid dribbled toward the middle, as his shot from 20 yards out sailed wide left. Hamilton's best chance of the opening stanza occurred in the 20th minute when Noah Giovannelli ripped a ball from 22 yards that Panther goalie Ryan Grady collected for the save, as the match went into the halftime break scoreless.

In the second half, the Continentals looked to get on the board at 55:40, but Grady snagged a header by Aidan Wood from point-blank range to keep the match tied. Middlebury broke through for the contest's lone goal in the 59th minute on the second of the season by Potter. Brendan Barry headed a loose ball in the box that Hamilton goalie Thomas Benson batted down with his arms, but the rebound came to Potter, who tapped it into the back of the net. The tally was the 10th of Potter's career.

Middlebury nearly doubled the advantage in the 75th minute, but a shot off Noah Hannam's head in the box was saved by Benson. The Continentals applied late pressure with just over two minutes left in regulation, as Grady moved to his right and saved a curling header by Jose Torres on a corner kick to preserve the victory.  

Grady (3-0-1) finished with four saves for his conference-leading fourth shutout of the season, while Benson (1-4-0) collected three stops. Both teams had seven shots in the contest, while Middlebury finished with a narrow 5-4 edge in corner kicks.