Men’s lacrosse stumbles at Bowdoin

Men’s lacrosse (5-8, 4-4 in the NESCAC) was unable to build off the momentum from its overtime victory over Wesleyan on April 17. The men lost 12-5 Saturday against Bowdoin after succumbing 17-15 to Plattsburgh State on April 20. The weekend’s NESCAC loss puts Williams in a four-way tie for fourth in the conference, neck-to-neck with Amherst, Middlebury and Colby ahead of the last weekend of regular season play.

On Saturday, Bowdoin went on a seven-goal first half offensive that started just 2:43 into the game, as the team scored four times in the first quarter and notched another three goals in the second for a 7-0 score heading into the second half. The Polar Bears took 19 shots to the Ephs’ eight on the half.

The second half saw the Ephs challenge the Polar Bears, but the team ultimately could not break the Polar Bears’ stranglehold on the game. Michael Grover ’10 got the Ephs on the board 2:27 into the second half, collecting a feed from Mike Ryan ’12 before firing the ball into the back of the net for a 7-1 score. In what would be the pattern of the second half, however, Bowdoin answered with a goal of its own just a minute later. Sam Hargrove ’12 and Bryan Wrapp ’10 scored with 11:13 and 6:29 left in the period, respectively, to make the score 8-3. In turn, two quick Bowdoin goals in response to the Ephs’ foray reopened the Polar Bears’ lead with just five minutes left in the third. Michael Acierno ’10 and Wrapp both scored in the game’s final 20 minutes, but two more Polar Bear goals pushed the final score to 12-5.

The men simply couldn’t match Bowdoin’s offense throughout the game. The Polar Bears outshot the Ephs 36-26 and also picked up 37 ground balls to the men’s 27. Steve Vrla ’10, however, notched five saves in the first three quarters of play despite a broken thumb before backup netminder Henry Mills ’11 stepped up to tally five more saves for the Ephs in the fourth. Meanwhile, Hargrove’s goal was the sophomore’s 18th on the season, which leads the team; he also is tops in assists with 14 on the year.

“In short, we failed to execute in a variety of dimensions,” co-captain Rich Reuter ’10 said. Reuter’s co-captain Andrew D’Ambrosio agreed, saying, “We knew what we had to do, but we just didn’t do it.”

Ahead of Saturday’s contest with Bowdoin, Plattsburgh State downed the men 17-15 on April 20. Though Williams scored first, Plattsburgh quickly took a 7-2 lead. The Ephs recovered from the deficit midway through the second period to end the half just three goals behind at 10-7, but couldn’t sustain their rally throughout the third quarter. The teams matched each other goal for goal to end the third at 12-9, with Plattsburgh still ahead. In the fourth, Ryan and Hargrove both scored to make the gap only one, 15-14, and put the game within reach for the Ephs in the last five minutes, but another set of traded goals kept the Ephs behind before the Cardinals put the nail in the coffin with a last-minute goal to end the game up 17-15.

The men will host Middlebury in their last regular season game of the year on Friday at 6 p.m. This game – and the rest of the week’s NESCAC play – will be crucial in determining the seeding for the NESCAC tournament, given the four-way tie for fourth that currently includes both Williams and Middlebury. Once the regular season is completed Friday, NESCAC tournament play will begin Sunday at 1 p.m.

“We have to realize that we are basically in the playoffs right now,” D’Ambrosio said. “Hopefully [the team] will realize this and lay it all on the line on Friday, because we have nothing to save it for.”