PISCATAWAY, N.J. - Senior attackman Holt Hopkins scored two goals and had four assists to lead Middlebury to its second consecutive Division III championship with a 15-10 victory over Gettysburg before 14,417 at Rutgers Stadium yesterday.
The Panthers (17-1), who won their first title in school history last year, broke open the game by outscoring Gettysburg 5-0 in the second quarter to take a 7-3 lead at halftime.
Gettysburg (16-2), playing in its first national championship game, had never trailed by more than three goals at any time this year before meeting Middlebury, which led throughout the second half and finished the season by winning its last 13 games.
The Panthers also set a Division III tournament record by scoring 83 goals in their four postseason victories.
"Fortunately, people were finishing the feeds that I gave them," said Hopkins, a Boys' Latin graduate who was voted the game's Most Valuable Player.
"Today, there were prime examples of getting in the right spot at the right time and taking advantage of what was given to us. Some days, it's going to be your day. [The award] is the cherry on top."
The Bullets, who were led by Jake Van Nostrand's three goals, never got closer than two goals in the second half.
After cutting Middlebury's lead to 8-6 on a fast-break goal by Chris Baran with 10:20 left in the third quarter, the Panthers responded with a 3-0 run to create too much of a cushion for Gettysburg to overcome.
Hopkins completed the run with his second goal of the day.
Middlebury 2 5 4 4 - 15
Gettysburg 3 0 4 3 - 10
Goals: M-Carroll 3, Herbert 2, Hopkins 2, Albro 2, Dunn 2, Seeley, Davis, Haire, Frissora; G-Van Nostrand 3, Milliman 2, Pearce, Sharp, Baran, Hanchett, Twombly. Assists: M-Hopkins 4, Herbert 2, Dunn, Bastis, O'Neil; G-Pearce 3, Cadman. Saves: M-Krieger 14; G-McGinnis 6.