MIDDLEBURY — After being held scoreless in Saturday’s first half, visiting Amherst put 38 points on the board in the second session on its way to a 38-31 victory over the Middlebury College football team. The Jeffs (3-0) have now won 11 straight games after a perfect 8-0 mark a year ago, while the Panthers fell to 1-2.
In the game, Middlebury quarterback Donald McKillop became New England Division III college football’s all-time leader in completions with 666. He also tied his own school record with 47 completions in the game. McKillop was named the NESCAC Offensive Player of the Week for his effort.
Middlebury took a 3-0 lead on its first possession, driving 77 yards on 17 plays over 6:35. Anthony Kuchan booted a 20-yard field goal after earlier keeping the drive alive by gaining a first down on a fake punt.
Amherst had a chance to tie the game early in the second quarter, but a 31-yard field goal from Matt Rawson went wide right. The Panthers drove 78 on yards on their next possession to the Amherst 2, but turned the ball over on a fumbled snap.
Middlebury made it 9-0 with 22 seconds left in the half with another long drive (15 plays, 81 yards). McKillop hit Nick Resor for an eight-yard scoring strike after the duo hooked up four times for 48 yards on the scoring drive.
The Jeffs got on the board on their first drive of the second half, when Rawson booted a 37-yarder to cut the lead to 9-3. Evan Rosenstein intercepted McKillop on the ensuing drive, leaving the ball at the Middlebury 32. Four plays later, Alex Vetras hit Will Reed for a 26-yard touchdown pass that gave Amherst its first lead of the game at 10-9.
After a three-and-out and a short punt, Amherst took over on the Middlebury 30 and wasted no time with a 30-yard scoring strike from Vetras to Ben Kettering to make it 17-9.
Middlebury answered with a three-yard rush from Andrew Plumley to cap an 81-yard drive in 14 plays. That score cut the lead to 17-16 with 3:10 left in the third.
The second half shootout continued when Amherst drove 68 yards on five plays on its ensuing drive. Vetras hit Brian Murphy three times for 39 yards before scoring on a bootleg from 25 yards out.
The Panthers covered 73 yards in 2:44 on their next possession to tie the game at 24. McKillop hit Zach Driscoll on a 39-yard scoring strike on the seven-play drive.
Amherst’s Eric Bunker scored on a 12-yard rush before Plumley did the same for Middlebury from 11 yards out to make it 31-31 with 7:47 remaining.
The Jeffs decisive drive covered 67 yards on 17 plays, taking 5:09 off the clock. Vetras hit Bunker twice for 26 yards and Murphy once for 16 before Bunker found pay dirt from a yard out.
Middlebury got the ball on its own 20 with 2:28 remaining, but turned the ball over on downs.
McKillop finished the day going 47 of 62 for 421 yards with two touchdowns and a pair of picks. Plumley was one reception shy of tying the school record, pulling down 14 balls for 97 yards, while rushing for 49 yards on 17 carries with a pair of touchdowns. Resor and Matt Rayner each caught 13 passes, with Resor gaining 148 yards with a TD, while Rayner picked up 84 yards. Michael Bilodeau led the Middlebury defense with 10 tackles, followed by John Wiet with nine.
For Amherst, Vetras went 26 of 49 for 278 yards with two touchdowns, while Bunker gained 88 yards on the ground on 18 carries, scoring twice. Murphy caught a team-high eight passes for 67 yards, while Kettering had six receptions for 93 yards with a touchdown.
The Panthers will play at Williams on Saturday afternoon.
Men’s soccer blanks Jeffs
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College men’s soccer team on Saturday picked up a 1-0 NESCAC victory over Amherst (5-1-3, 1-1-3 league) with their eighth shutout of the season. Middlebury moved to 4-1 in league play.
Amherst had the better of the play in the first half, holding a 10-1 shots advantage. The Jeffs had a nice chance in the 36th minute, but Spencer Noon’s header was just wide after a cross from Thebe Tsatimpe. Middlebury’s Tyler Macnee answered shortly after, but his shot was turned away.
The Jeffs’ best chance of the contest came with less than a minute to play in the first half. Ian Rothkopf blasted a shot from 10 yards outside the box, but Middlebury keeper Tim Cahill made a spectacular save to keep the game scoreless.
Middlebury turned up the pressure in the second half, with Macnee just missing from 25 yards out at 74:30. The Panthers kept coming, and seconds later a service from Jake Edwards resulted in a scramble that the Jeffs eventually survived.
The game’s only goal came at 78:01, when Martin Drolet scored his third of the season. Carson Cornbrooks took the original shot that was saved, and Drolet finished the rebound.
The Jeffs threatened late, but Cahill stopped Julien Aoyama from inside the box with five minutes remaining to preserve the shutout.Amherst finished with a 13-7 shots advantage and an 8-1 lead in corner kicks. Cahill made five saves to earn the shutout and NESCAC Player of the Week honors, while Lennard Kovacs made two stops for Amherst.
Volleyball moves into first
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s volleyball team took over sole possession of first place in NESCAC with a pair of league wins at home on Friday and Saturday. The Panthers (13-3, 5-0 NESCAC) finished the weekend having won six straight matches.
On Saturday, the Panther claimed a 3-1 (17-25, 25-18, 25-22, 25-22) victory over Tufts (14-5, 5-2) in Pepin Gym. Freshman Megan Jarchow had a big match for the Panthers, finishing with 17 kills in the victory. Sophomore Julia Gibbs added nine kills and 17 digs, while junior Jane Handel had 13 kills and 17 digs. Senior Lauren Barrett finished the contest with 22 digs and 44 assists, while sophomore Caitlin Barrett earned 25 digs.
On Friday, the Panthers prevailed, 3-1 (25-19, 25-22, 21-25, 25-15) over Bowdoin (12-6, 5-1). Handel led the Middlebury offense with 11 kills in the match, while junior Elissa Goeke (9), Jarchow (9) and Gibbs (8) rounded out the balanced attack. Caitlin Barrett earned 31 digs, followed by junior Caroline Cordle with 20 and Handel with 15. Goeke added six blocks, while Lauren Barrett had 36 assists.
Field hockey wins twice
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College field hockey team won a pair of recent games to move to 6-3 overall, 3-2 in NESCAC play.
On Saturday, Lauren Greer scored three goals and assisted on another to lead Middlebury to a 4-1 win over visiting Amherst; Greer was named the NESCAC Player of the Week. The Panthers snapped Amherst’s five-game winning streak as the Jeffs fell to 6-3 (3-3 NESCAC).
Middlebury’s Elinore O’Brien accounted for the only goal of the first half when she scored 28:24 into the game. Greer scored the next three goals in a span of 24:22. Amherst got on the board with 2:17 remaining in regulation when Katie McMahon scored off a penalty corner.
The Panthers’ first scoring attack began when Charlotte Gardiner sent the ball down the line to Greer, who carried it into the circle. Greer made a beautiful pass that found O’Brien, who punched it in to give the hosts a 1-0 lead.
Greer’s first score came on a breakaway early in the second frame. Greer shot from the left side into the right corner of the cage past Amherst goalkeeper Sarah Wise.
Next, 9:31 later, Greer put home a rebound off Wise’s pads. Greer’s third tally was another rebound with 7:43 to play.
The Jeffs held advantages in shots (12-7) and corners (10-6). Becca Shaw made 11 saves for Middlebury, seven of which came in the second half. Wise played the first 62:17 for Amherst, allowing four goals and stopping two shots. Claudia Easton finished out the game in goal and made one save.
On Tuesday, the Panthers defeated host Keene State, 2-0, in a non-league game, scoring twice in the second half. O’Brien gave Middlebury a 1-0 lead at the 15:10 mark when she took a crossing pass from Gardiner and beat KSC goalie Meghan Ledoux. Greer scored the Panther’s second goal in the closing seconds, with Gardiner assisting.
With the scored tied, senior Middlebury’s Madison Kahn made a defensive save on a scoring bid by Alyce Ferenc five minutes into the second half. Middlebury held advantages in shots (19-3) and penalty corners (11-2).
Ledoux finished with eight saves. Shaw, who played the first 62:41, and Madeline Brooks, who saw 7:19 of action, were not credited with saves.
Women’s soccer rally stuns Jeffs
MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury College women’s soccer team won a pair of recent games to improve to 6-2-1 overall, 3-2 in NESCAC play.
On Saturday, the Panthers rallied to defeat visiting Amherst in overtime, 4-3. Middlebury scored three goals in the game’s final 9:08 and then tallied the game-winner 5:13 into overtime to earn the key NESCAC victory over Amherst (4-3-2, 3-1-2 league). Freshman Scarlett Kirk scored a hat trick, the first three goals of her career, to spark the rally and was named the NESCAC Player of the Week.
Amherst scored the only goal of the first half, as Jackie Hirsch beat a diving Lauryn Torch with a shot from 12 yards out. Emily Little finished off a scramble 2:18 into the second half to give the Jeffs a 2-0 advantage, and Hirsch scored again at 59:23 to give Amherst a 3-0 lead.
Kirk scored her first at 80:52, finishing off a flurry after a cross from Julia Favorito. Middlebury made it a one-goal game at 84:09, when Kirk scored with a header on a corner kick from Kirsten Lundquist.
The Panthers tied the game with 2:57 remaining, when Rachel Madding scored her first of the year. Nora Tomlinson-Weintraub crossed a ball that Madding trapped with her chest before striking a shot to the top right corner. In OT, Kirk finished in a scramble to give the Panthers the 4-3 win.
Torch ended the game with 10 saves for the Panthers, while two Jeff goalies combined for five saves.
On Tuesday, Middlebury then won its fifth straight game, 4-0 at Keene State (9-4-2) in non-league action. Middlebury entered the game ranked fourth in the latest New England NCAA Division III poll, while Keene State was ninth.
Annie Rowell scored the only goal of the first half, taking a feed from Drew Smith before spinning and firing into the bottom left corner.
Middlebury took a 3-0 lead with two goals from Kirk 6:05 apart in the second half. The first came at 52:18, after Favorito served the ball to Tomlinson-Weintraub, whose header was stopped by Keene State keeper Megan Dempsey, but Kirk buried the rebound. Favorito set up the third goal, playing a nice through ball to Kirk at 58:23.
Middlebury scored the game’s final goal at 68:58, when Hannah Newman converted a breakaway after a feed from Gabriela Curbelo-Zeidman.
Torch (5 saves), Jocelyn Remmert (2 saves) and Elizabeth Foody (2 saves) combined for the shutout, while Dempsey made five stops for the Owls.