Panther men's lacrosse rallies for two wins

NEW LONDON, Conn. — The Middlebury College men’s lacrosse team used a pair of second-half comebacks to win two recent games and improve to 3-1. The Panthers will entertain Wesleyan at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

On this past Saturday, the Panthers used a 6-0 second-half run to rally past host Connecticut, 13-9. The Camels fell to 0-3 and 0-1 in conference action.

Joel Blockowicz had three goals and three assists to lead the Panthers, while Jack Rautiola scored three goals and assisted on two and Jon Broome added two goals and two assists. Panther goalie Will Ernst backstopped the win with 14 saves.

The Camels took a quick 2-0 lead on a pair of goals by Tucker Mscisz and still led at the half, 6-4.

In the third quarter, Middlebury outscored the Camels, 5-1. Panther Nate Smith-Ide stuffed one in from close range with 1:13 remaining to make it 9-7 entering the fourth. The Panthers then scored the first two goals of the fourth, with Blockowicz capping the 6-0 run and making it 11-7 at 10:26.

The Camels cut it to 11-9 with two of Ross Thompson’s team-high three goals, but Rautiola converted a feed from Blockowicz with 3:15 to go and the Camels could not get any closer. Camel goalie Bobby Bleistein finished with 11 saves.

On Tuesday, the Panthers again trailed by two at the half, this time by 8-6 at St. Lawrence, and again rallied to win, 13-11. Middlebury opened the second half with a 5-0 run to take charge. Nick Peterson made it 10-8, Panthers, late in the third, and Ide-Smith made it 11-8 1:09 into the fourth.

The Saints made it 11-10 with 6:45 to go, but Broome and Rautiola answered for the Panthers before Saint Tommy Hovey scored his third goal of the game with four seconds left for the 13-11 final.

Ernst kept Middlebury in contention with 10 of his 16 saves in the first half, when SLU had a 23-14 edge in shots. Nick Ford made 13 saves for the Saints.

Rautiola had three goals and an assist to lead Middlebury, while Tim Giarrusso had two goals and an assist and Jack Cleary added a pair of goals. Joseph Zelkowitz and Henry Riehl also scored for Middlebury. 

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