Men’s lacrosse falls 6-5 in opener

Men’s lacrosse (0-1, 0-1 in the NESCAC) kicked off its regular season against Colby on Saturday. The Ephs fell to the Mules by a tight 6-5 margin in overtime.

Colby took control of the game early on, as Mark Squicciarino notched a goal for the Mules 14 minutes after the face-off. Evan Cohen ’12 held strong in net, however, as only one of Colby’s nine shots on the period found its way past the Williams netminder.
The Mules were able to widen their lead to 2-0 in the second quarter. It was Squicciarino again tallying the point, firing a shot past Cohen four minutes in to send Colby into the locker room up by two.

The Ephs finally battled their way onto the board in the third quarter. Just five minutes into the half, Tim Goggins ’12 collected the ball from Tommy Murray ’11. Goggins found the net behind Colby’s Peter Reiley for a 2-1 tally.

Williams opened the fourth quarter with a bang: After tri-captain Corey Jacobs ’11 wrestled the face-off away from his Mule opponent, rookie Stephen Upton ’14 scooped up the ground ball and took it downfield, scoring the first goal of his collegiate career unassisted to tie the score at 2-2.

Goggins built off Upton’s momentum, notching another Eph goal less than two minutes later with an assist from Michael Acierno ’12. Williams’ 3-2 lead only lasted three minutes, however, as Colby tied the game 3-3 with another goal at the 4:53 minute mark. Goggins responded quickly, slipping his third goal of the game into the back of the net to reclaim a one-goal lead at 4-3 with 7:20 left on the clock.
Two more Colby goals within a minute temporarily halted the men’s drive and put the Mules up 5-4 with less than five minutes to play. The Ephs got a lucky break, however, when Mule Bjorn Knutsen was called for slashing. The one-minute power play gave the men enough time to find Colton Growney ’13 with the ball: Growney buried one in the back of the net with 42 seconds to play to knot the score at 5-5, sending the game into overtime.

Less than a minute into the sudden death extra period, however, Colby’s John Jennings halted the men’s drive, sneaking the ball past Cohen for a 6-5 Mule win.

“This game was a tough, hard-fought loss,” tri-captain David Fitzpatrick ’11 said. “We played very well throughout the game but made mistakes in overtime that cost us the game.”

While the teams were even on face-off wins and nearly even on ground ball collections, with Williams tallying 25 pickups to Colby’s 20, the Mules were able to outshoot the Ephs 32-20. Cohen recorded 14 saves.

“The team works hard, works together and really fights for each other,” Fitzpatrick continued. “Moving forward, we need to continue to improve and learn from the week past.”

Williams will next host Bates on Saturday at 1 p.m. Over spring break, the men will travel to Skidmore on March 23 before hosting Tufts and Endicott on March 26 and March 29, respectively. The men will also play at Trinity and Conn. College on April 2 and April 6 before facing off against Amherst at home on April 9 at 1 p.m.

The team’s outlook on the season remains “very optimistic” despite the loss in the season opener, according to Fitzpatrick.

“While this game was a setback and a game we could have won,” he said, “we have all the pieces in place and will only get better as the season continues.”

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