Wesleyan, ranked 10th nationally, built a 10-1 fourth-quarter lead coasting to an eventual 11-5 NESCAC men's lacrosse win over visiting Middlebury on Saturday afternoon at New Turf Field. Middlebury is back in action Tuesday when it hosts St. Lawrence at 4:00 p.m., while Wesleyan plays Clarkson on Wednesday in Florida.
Middlebury opened the scoring with an extra-man goal just 2:31 into the contest as Taylor Pirie hit Mike Ford with a centering pass from behind the net. Ford went low for the only goal allowed by Mark Simmons. Wesleyan rattled off 10 unanswered goals and grabbed a nine-goal lead with 11:38 to play in the game.
Jack Rautiola scored twice in the final 10:49, while Broome had a goal and Ford tallied his second goal of the game for the Panthers. Broome leads the team with nine points on five goals and four assists.
Leading the Cardinals' attack with a career-best five goals and two assists was Matt Prezioso. Wesleyan got a pair of goals each from Aidan Daniell and Lyle Mitchell. Defensively for Wesleyan, Elliot Albert caused three turnovers and grabbed four ground balls.
Jack DeFrino was strong in faceoffs for Middlebury, winning nine of 12 attempts. He tied for game-high honors in ground balls with five along with George Curtis and Broome.
Wesleyan defeated Middlebury for the fourth time in the last five meetings, but still trails in the all-time series, 25-20-1. The Cardinals outshot the Panthers, 48-29. Middlebury goalie Nate Gaudio came up with 19 saves in the loss.
Simmons produced 12 saves in 48:40 of action, while three other Wesleyan goalies surrendered a quartet of Panther goals in the final 11:20.