Middlebury 11, Wesleyan 8

May 18, 2005

The Middlebury College men's lacrosse team will make its seventh straight appearance in the NCAA semifinals after an 11-8 win over Wesleyan in the NCAA Quarterfinals at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers will take on Nazareth, a 14-7 winner over Cortland, in a rematch of last year's NCAA semifinal game, where the Golden Flyers earned a 12-8 win. The game will take place at Middlebury on either Saturday or Sunday, with the date and game time to be announced on Thursday.

Middlebury and Wesleyan met for the third time this season, with the Panthers earning a 15-7 win during the regular season, and a 9-5 victory in the NESCAC title game. Middlebury led 3-2 after the first quarter, holding a 9-4 shots advantage.

The lead grew to 4-2 early in the second quarter as Mark Foster deked his defender before scoring down low. Chris Knacke of Wesleyan found Jordan Funt in transition at the 13:37 mark to make it a 4-3 game. Middlebury closed the half with a pair of goals to take a 6-3 lead into the halftime break. Henry Sheehan scored the first driving to the goal, while he found Travis Meyer with a nice dish for the second goal in 36 seconds.

Wesleyan came out firing in the third quarter, scoring the first four goals to take a 7-6 lead. Knacke scored the first with a long feed from Funt, before Funt scored his own goal with a great over-the-shoulder shot at the 9:14 mark. Walsh tied the game with a man-up goal from the outside before Chris Meade scored on the man-down, picking up a loose ball before finishing.

Middlebury ended their scoring lull with 2:34 left in the quarter as Dave Leach converted a lengthy pass from Sheehan with a blast from the outside to tie the game at seven. Just 53 seconds later, Sheehan hit a cutting Jeff Pello with a nice feed to give the Panthers an 8-7 lead after three quarters.

A bouncing shot from the outside by Leach increased the lead to 9-7 just 44 seconds into the fourth quarter. Meade answered for the Cardinals with a fake up high before finishing down low to cut the Middlebury lead to 9-8. Mark Foster ripped a shot into the top right corner of the goal to make it a 10-8 game at 9:09, before Travis Meyer finished the scoring at 6:55 with a nice move to the goal.

Leach, Meyer, Foster and J.P. Coviello had two goals apiece for Middlebury, while Sheehan dished out four assists. Meade scored two to pace Wesleyan, while Funt added a pair. Alex Palmisano made eight saves in goal for the Panthers, while Charlie Congleton made 13 stops for the Cardinals.

Middlebury out shot Wesleyan 42-25 on the day, holding a 52-35 advantage in ground balls, while Peter Mellen won 15 of 22 face-offs.

Date: May 18, 2005 - 4:00 p.m.
Venue: Alumni Stadium - Site: Middlebury, Vt.

TEAM 1 2 3 4 OT F

Wesleyan (13-6) 2 1 4 1 - 8

Middlebury (16-1) 3 3 2 3 - 11

Middlebury Scoring: Henry Sheehan 1-4, Dave Leach 2-1, Travis Meyer 2-1, Mark Foster 2-0, J.P.Coviello 2-0, Jonathan Sisto 1-1, Jeff Pello 1-0.

Wesleyan Scoring: Chris Meade 3-0, Jordan Funt 2-1, Chris Knacke 1-1, Glenn Adams 1-0, Mike Walsh 1-0, Mike Hines 0-1, Mike Vitulano 0-1.

Shots: Midd. 42, Wesleyan 25
Man-Up: Midd. 0/2, Wesleyan 2/5
Face-offs: Midd. 15, Wesleyan 7

M-Alex Palmisano (60 mins., 8 saves, 8 GA)
W-Charlie Congleton (60 mins., 13 saves, 11 GA)

-- Courtesy Middlebury