Middlebury scored once in the opening half and tacked on two more in the second, collecting a 3-0 NESCAC home triumph over Trinity on Saturday. The Panthers (7-1-5, 3-1-4) return to action next Saturday with a 2:30 p.m. match at 12th-ranked Tufts, while the Bantams (1-11-0, 0-8-0) remain on the road with a contest Tuesday at 7:00 p.m. against Western Connecticut.
Middlebury controlled play through the opening 45 minutes, taking all nine shots in the frame. The Panthers had an early opportunity when Brendan Barry's corner kick was headed off the cross bar by Jacob LaBranche in the eighth minute. The hosts claimed a 1-0 lead with 15:30 showing on the scoreboard on a play that originated on a corner kick. LaBranche collected the offering past the right post and lofted a short pass back into the crease, where Michael McFarlane headed in his first collegiate tally.
The hosts came close to doubling their lead in the opening minutes of the second frame, as Brandon Reid made a nice rush up the left side. Once inside the restraining area, he fired a low shot that Everett Lyons made a sprawling save on. Middlebury did make it a two-goal difference with 35:44 on the clock, with Reid again using his speed to create a chance. He ran onto a pass and dribbled deep into Bantam territory, before dishing a centering pass to Henry Wilhelm, who fired a shot past Lyons from close range.
Moments later, the Bantams had a quality scoring opportunity on a corner kick. Avee Vadgama served the restart into the Panther goal mouth, where John Mullin's header was snared by Middlebury goalie Ryan Grady.
Reid closed out the scoring with 3:20 left in the contest, touching the ball past a defender, before firing a low shot into the right corner of the net.
Grady made two saves for his sixth shutout of the season, while Lyons had six stops for the visitors.
The Panthers held a sizeable 19-3 margin in shots and a narrow 6-4 edge in corner kicks.