Men’s lax drops home opener 9-4

In its season home opener, men’s lacrosse (0-1, 0-1 in the NESCAC) fell to NESCAC rival Wesleyan after being held scoreless in the first half.

Russell Train ’14 held down the men’s defense in Saturday’s 9-4 loss to rival Wesleyan. - Caleb Baer / Photo Editor
Russell Train ’14 held down the men’s defense in Saturday’s 9-4 loss to rival Wesleyan. - Caleb Baer / Photo Editor

Despite a late rally, the Ephs simply couldn’t recover from the Cardinals’ offensive onslaught in the first two periods, during which the Cardinals outshot the Ephs 16-7 en route to a 9-4 win.

Despite having three man-up opportunities to Wesleyan’s one, the men could not convert their advantages into goals during the first half. In tallying a 2-0 lead by the end of the first quarter and expanding their lead to 5-0 by the end of the second, the Cardinals established a commanding lead before the Ephs had a chance to get on the scoreboard. The men finally began to chip away at the deficit in the third quarter thanks to a goal by senior attackman Mike Ryan ’12. Ryan was able to capitalize on a man-up advantage and score off of a pass from fellow Eph Sam Hargrove ’12, beginning a scoring run that would continue for the rest of the third quarter. Ryan’s goal narrowed Wesleyan’s lead to 5-1 just 1:06 into the third. Cardinal Graham Macnab, however, responded with a goal of his own less than a minute later to reestablish Wesleyan’s five-goal lead at 6-1. Another Cardinal score at 2:57 opened the deficit wider to 7-1, but Hargrove managed to put another Eph tally on the board with an unassisted goal at the 6:30-minute mark. Michael Acierno ’12 followed Hargrove’s lead and helped the men to end the third strong with another goal just 19 seconds before time ran out on the period. The third ended with Williams down 7-3.

The men went into the fourth quarter planning to continue their rally, but two Wesleyan goals at 5:41 and 8:40 widened the gap to six at 9-3 and forced Williams to battle even harder to make a comeback. Although the men outshot Wesleyan 18-8 in the second half and matched the Cardinals’ 16 ground balls, it was not enough to recover from the earlier deficit. A last-minute goal by rookie Andy Grabowski ’15 came too late to galvanize a rally, with just 48 seconds on the clock when the ball hit the back of the net. The score remained at 9-4 as time expired.

Head Coach George McCormack felt his team struggled early but showed promise in the second half. “I feel a slow start hampered us against a good Wesleyan team,” McCormack said. “The second half was a much better effort on our part.”

Cardinals Macnab, Teddy Citrin and Joe Porcelli each tallied two goals in the game despite nine saves by Eph netminder John Wawrose ’14. Wesleyan goalie Grant Covington blocked 15 shots. David Lee ’14 went 4-8 on face-offs, while Peter Sullivan ’14 and rookie Steven Kiesel ’15 each won a face-off.

The men will see their next competition this Saturday at Trinity at 1 p.m. “We are excited to get back to work in preparation for our game against Trinity this weekend,” McCormack said.

Following the Trinity game, Williams will host Skidmore on Tuesday before traveling to Baltimore, where the team will face Conn. College and Johns Hopkins on March 24. The men also look to face Washington and Lee, Bates and Bowdoin on March 27, March 31 and April 1, respectively, before returning to Renzie Lamb Field for an April 7 match-up against Tufts.

Co-captain Tim Goggins ’12 mentioned his team’s slow start against Wesleyan, but looks forward to the upcoming match, “We are eager to continue play on Saturday against Trinity.”