Men’s Lax: Big Second Quarter Carries Panthers Past Cardinals 17-10

Courtesy Middlebury Sports Information

MIDDLEBURY — The Middlebury men’s lacrosse team used a big 10-0 run, erasing a one-goal deficit and propelling the Panthers to a 17-10 triumph over visiting Plattsburgh State on Tuesday. Middlebury (3-3) returns to action on Saturday when they host NESCAC opponent Bowdoin at 1:00 p.m., while Plattsburgh State (4-2) entertains Plymouth State Thursday at 4:00 p.m.

The Cardinals held a 3-2 advantage at the end of a low-scoring first quarter. Joey Zelkowitz opened the scoring 45 seconds into the game for the hosts, while Jake Carroll followed for the visitors. Middlebury led 2-1 after a tally by John Simms, but Ryan Callahan and Carroll netted back-to-back goals for Plattsburgh State, giving the Cardinals a one-goal edge after 15 minutes of play.

The Panthers dominated the second quarter, netting all eight goals in the period.Harry Giarrusso started the run with a low shot 4:22 into the stanza, while Frank Cosolito followed with his first collegiate goal. Henry Riehl recorded the next three tallies for the hosts, extending the lead to 7-3 with 4:28 on the clock. Parker Lawlor, Jake Schneider and Jack Gould closed out the frame with goals as the Panthers led 10-3 at the half.

Middlebury added the first two goals in the third quarter, capping off the 10-goal run. Both goals came early as Riehl scored with 18 seconds expired and A.J. Kucinski only 15 seconds later. Plattsburgh State received a goal from Austin Belz with 9:30 remaining, ending a scoreless stretch of 27:19. Belz’s tally started a burst where the Cardinals scored five of the game’s next six goals to close to 13-8, but Kucinski netted his second of the contest for Middlebury and a six-goal cushion with one quarter to play.

Gould recorded the opening score in the fourth quarter for the hosts, but Plattsburgh State brought the deficit back to five goals (15-10) on markers from Carroll and Ryan Hubbard. Middlebury shut down the Cardinal attack the rest of the way and added late goals by Cosolito and Stephen Clarke to complete the 17-10 win.

Riehl led the Panthers with four goals and one assist, while Zelkowitz (2-2-4), Kucinski (2-2-4) and Gould (2-2-4) each finished with four-point games. Jake Madnick and John Jackson each finished with seven ground balls and were dominant on face-offs. Jackson won 14-15, while Madnick went 11-13. As a team, Middlebury won 25-29.

Carroll paced the Cardinals with five goals, while Mike Gay scored once and had four assists. Callahan scooped up five ground balls and Kyle Espejo had four with three caused turnovers.

In goal for Middlebury, Will Ernst played the opening half for the win with five saves, while Will Perry had six stops in the second half. Donald Tesoriero suffered the loss for the Cardinals with nine saves in the opening 30 minutes, while Austin Graham recorded seven saves in the final two quarters.

Middlebury held a 55-34 edge in shots and 52-31 in ground balls.