Men’s lacrosse (2-11, 1-8 in the NESCAC) took on Middlebury in its final match-up of the season on Saturday. Though the men had lost a shot at the playoffs with their loss to Bowdoin on April 23, they came out determined and ready to play. However, the men could not overcome Middlebury, falling 12-9.
Tri-captain Matt Cranshaw ’11 made his mark against Middlebury less than one minute into the first with a low goal. Tucker Dayton ’14 built on Cranshaw’s lead with an unassisted goal at 3:43 before notching another unassisted goal at 11:51. With three minutes left in the first quarter, the Ephs were up 3-0. The Panthers soon retaliated, however, putting two points on the scoreboard in the final minutes with goals at 13:59 and 14:49. Despite the Panthers’ attempt at a comeback, the Ephs still led 3-2 at the end of the first period.
Middlebury came out strong in the second. Though tri-captain Corey Jacobs ’11 was able to win possession on four out of five face-offs in this period, the men struggled to maintain control and succeed in full-field transitions and turned the ball over at least five times. Middlebury took advantage of this, sending three more shots past goalkeeper Henry Mills ’11. The Ephs trailed 5-3 with little more than two minutes remaining the first half of the game. Sam Hargrove ’12 attempted to close the gap before halftime with a goal assisted by Cranshaw. After Hargrove’s goal – scored with just over 30 seconds left in play – the Ephs went into the half trailing only by one at 5-4.
The third period saw competitive efforts from both teams. Middlebury opened with a goal little over a minute and a half into play, increasing their lead to 6-4. Mike Ryan ’13 responded with a goal from a beautiful pass by Cranshaw. Murray built on this momentum with an unassisted goal minutes later, tying the score at 6-6 with 10 minutes remaining in the third period. Middlebury regained the lead at 7-6 with a goal 7:05 into play. Dayton responded with his third unassisted goal of the game, re-tying the game again at 7-7. Middlebury again broke the tie with 58 seconds left in the third. Jacobs sniped possession on the next face-off and scored 11 seconds later. His goal tied the score at 8-8 heading into the final quarter.
The Panthers scored 20 seconds into the fourth. The Ephs trailed 11-8 after two more Panther goals. Murray scored his second goal of the game with five minutes remaining, but Middlebury had the last word with a goal at 27:49, bringing the final score to 12-9. “We needed to do a better job controlling the ball early in the second half. They went a little run and we kept giving the ball back to them,” Cranshaw said.
This game concludes the team’s season, as the men will not be competing in NESCAC playoffs. The captains are ending their last season of collegiate lacrosse with a positive attitude. “We had a frustrating season. We worked hard despite the adversity we faced, [and] I think that is important,” Cranshaw said. They hope to see their younger teammates go on to restore the winning record they saw over their time at Williams, including a NESCAC championship in 2008 and a subsequent NCAA run. As Cranshaw said, “This is a young team. The future is bright.”