Men’s lacrosse’s four-game win streak snapped by Colby

After splitting games with two NESCAC rivals this weekend, men’s lacrosse has posted a 4-3 record at about the halfway point of the 2002 season. Over spring break, the Ephs traveled to Florida and lost a heartbreaker in triple overtime to Bowdoin, but a day later the team turned around and beat New England College 11-6. Most recently, the Ephs fell to the White Mules 8-7.

The triumph over New England was the first of the season for the Ephmen, and it sparked a four-game win streak with victories against Bates (in overtime), Tufts and 17th-ranked Springfield.

Colby snapped the Ephs’ four-game winning streak in a close game on Sunday afternoon, which Williams lost 8-7. Colby jumped out in front early and led 5-1 at halftime, with the sole first-half goal scored by Scott Wilbur.

The Mule’s zone defense proved a little too much for the Williams offense to handle in the beginning, but this didn’t stop a noble comeback attempt in the second half. Williams attackers Pete Thomson ’03, Chris Hayes ‘03 and Andrew Layng ’03 all scored in the second half to bring the Ephs back to within one goal with over three minutes remaining in the game. A strong defensive stand by Colby and some very impressive goalie play proved too much for the Eph attack to overcome, however.

Saturday afternoon hosted a very exciting game for loyal Eph fans. Williams led Tufts 9-5 in the second half until the Jumbos scored four unanswered goals to tie it up 9-9 late in the game.

Hayes then scored his third goal of the game on a power play to gain a one-goal lead, a lead that was very short-lived. With 57 seconds remaining, Tufts senior David Supple scored a goal to tie the game 10-10, paving the way for overtime. However, Ephs co-captain Scott Goldberg ’02 had something else in mind. After winning the face-off, Goldberg, like a man possessed, lit up the Tufts defense with time running out and fired a low shot past goalie Kirk Lutwyler right before the buzzer sounded to clinch an exhilarating victory for the Ephs.

The team’s win against the Springfield College Pride was once again led by Hayes, who netted four goals on the day. The Ephs started off with a bang after back-to-back goals in the first half by Thomson, and would not relinquish the lead for the rest of the game. In the second half, the Pride began to make a comeback, but Hayes scored twice within a minute to squash the Springfield threat. Goalie Matt Rade ’04 had 10 saves on the day to preserve the 10-8 victory.

In their first game back after the Southern tour, the Ephmen faced Bates College in their home opener. At the end of the first quarter, Williams led 7-2. However, the Bobcats would outscore the Ephs 4-2 in the second period and only trail 9-6 at the half.

Williams came out strong again in the second half, increasing their lead to 13-8 at the end of the third period before Bates went on a scoring frenzy with five unanswered goals to tie the game at 13 at the end of regulation. In overtime, several fumbles by Bates gave the Williams attack too many opportunities for Bates to handle, and Hayes scored the game-winning goal one minute and 40 seconds into the first overtime period.

“After a slow start, we have really stepped up our level of play,” said co-captain Blair Bartlett ’02. “The underclassmen are making great contributions and helping us win games. I think we have put ourselves in a good position to finish the second half of our season successfully and make a run at the NESCAC Championship.”

Men’s lacrosse will return to action this Wednesday against Skidmore College in the team’s second home game of the year. Faceoff is at 4:15 p.m. at Cole Field. Skidmore is currently 3-2 on the season, and is led offensively by Chris Bivona, who has proven himself a jack of all trades: Bivona currently leads the Thoroughbreds in goals (12), assists (8) and total points (20). Skidmore’s goaltender John Thornton allows 9.2 goals to get past him per game; as a team the Engineers score an average of 13.2 goals per game.

Last year, Skidmore’s 11-8 victory over the Ephmen was a highlight of the Thoroughbreds’ season.