Middlebury vs. Stevens Tech
May 19, 2004
The Game Story:
MIDDLEBURY, Vt. - Middlebury held an 11-1 halftime lead and never looked back as they picked up a 17-5 win over Stevens Institute in an NCAA quarterfinal game on Youngman Field at Alumni Stadium. The Panthers will host the winner of the Nazareth/Cortland game on Sunday in the NCAA semifinals with the time TBA. The win is the 45th straight for the Panthers on Youngman Field, a streak that dates back to April of '97.

After exchanging two possessions, Middlebury got on the board at the 11:22 mark as Mark Foster scored up high with a feed from Dave Leach. Charley Howe then scored two of his game-high six goals to give the Panthers a 3-0 lead. Mike Saraceni made it a 4-0 game at 3:45 before Mark Bielicky put Stevens on the board with 1:33 left in the first quarter. Middlebury answered on its next possession as Andrew Giordano scooped up a ground ball before scoring on a rebound, giving the Panthers a 5-1 lead after one quarter. Middlebury won six of seven face-offs in the quarter, while forcing Stevens to fail on five of nine clearing attempts.

The second quarter was all Middlebury as they out shot Stevens 11-4 and outscored the Ducks 6-0 in the quarter. Howe heated up in the quarter, scoring three goals, including the final goal of the half in transition with 48 seconds left.

Leading 11-1 at the break, Middlebury gave up a man-up goal by Erik Reckdenwald just 25 seconds into the third quarter. The Panthers would bounce back with three straight, including a pair from Mark Foster and Howe's sixth of the game to make it a 14-2 game with 42 seconds left in the third quarter. The Ducks put one on the board just eight seconds later as Bielicky scored from the outside to cut the lead to 14-3 after three. The lead increased to 17-3 in the third quarter before Stevens scored the game's last three goals to make it a 17-5 final.

Howe paced the Panthers with six tallied on the day, while Saraceni and Foster netted three goals apiece. Peter Mellen was solid in the face-off circle, winning 15 of 21 on the afternoon. Bielicky netted a pair to lead Stevens, while Matt Kuppe dished out two assists. Eric Krieger made 11 saves in 50:35, while Alex Palmisano made a stop in 9:25 of action for Middlebury. Matt Cannon made 16 saves on the day for Stevens. Middlebury out shot Stevens 47-24.