With wins in four of its first five games in the 2000 season, the men’s lacrosse team has risen from a ranking of 16th nationally to 13th. After losing their season opener to Bowdoin in Florida 16-5, the Ephs rebounded the next game with a 17-5 win over Colby.
They followed it up with three more victories and are now riding a four-game winning streak.
Saturday, the Ephs traveled to Medford to take on the Tufts Jumbos. The Ephs took care of business in this one, defeating the Jumbos 13-5 for their fifth consecutive win over Tufts. Senior Nick Weisser was a huge force for the Ephs, netting four goals and assisting on one.
“Saturday’s game was a solid win,”said Weisser, “I think the most impressive aspect of the game was that our defense held Tufts to only five goals. If the defense can play like that, we’ll keep wining games.”
Williams took an early lead of 3-0 after the first period with the help of Rob Adamo ’01, Nick Martinelli ’00 and Weisser.
The Jumbos were hardly passive in the second period. They managed to close the Eph lead to one, making the score 6-4 at the half after getting an at-the-buzzer shot was made by Jumbo Greg Molinelli. In the third, Weisser and junior Graham Davidson answered the Jumbo attack with two unanswered goals. Williams outscored Tufts 5-1 in the fourth period to seize the victory.
Sophomore Scott Goldberg noted, “We had some trouble getting things going offensively until the fourth quarter. The bottom line is that our defense stepped up big today and really deserve the credit for the win.” First-year Mike Buscher had 10 saves in net for the Ephs.
The next game for Williams was a huge victory against Rensselaer, which was 9th nationally at the beginning of the season. Despite snow, winds of 21 MPH, and a wind-chill of seven degrees, the Ephs played with “poise and confidence,” according to head coach Renzie Lamb, to defeat RPI 15-14 in one sudden death overtime.
Key players for the Ephs were John Moorhead ’00, who scored six goals, Weisser, who scored three times (twice in the fourth quarter to keep the game very close), and Goldberg, who scored the winning goal.
The game was even at 3 after the first period, but Williams pushed hard and took a 9-5 lead at the half. RPI dominated the third period, evening the score at 11. Both teams had three goals in the fourth period, forcing a four-minute sudden death overtime to be played in the cold and bitter wind.
“Seventy-five percent of the time the team who wins the face-off in an overtime wins the game,” remarked Lamb.
However, this game went against statistics. Despite RPI’s initial control of the ball, Williams’ Goldberg shot the winning goal, assisted by Martinelli, with 1:29 remaining in the overtime. Buscher had 14 saves in goal.
The Ephs beat Hamilton in the first home game of the season, 19-9 on April 2. Lamb was very pleased with the overall performance of the team and commended the play of senior co-captains Moorhead and Martinelli, as well as Adamo.
The team pushed Hamilton hard after the first period, which had begun slowly, and the result was a heated and high-scoring game. The Ephs led Hamilton 9-3 at the half; in the second half, Williams remained aggressive on offense and scored 10 more goals in the half and held strong on defense to keep Hamilton’s goals to a minimum.
Senior Geoffrey Cohane and Goldberg were among the high scorers for the team. Buscher had 22 saves for the Ephs.
Williams hopes to improve its winning streak to five tomorrow in an away game against the Skidmore Thoroughbreds (5-2); the game begins at 7. It will face Trinity at home on Saturday at 2 p.m.