Men’s lacrosse (0-1) faced a tough battle in its opener on Saturday. Travelling to Middletown, Conn., to compete against Wesleyan, the men fell in the final minutes of the game with a narrow 7-6 loss.
The first goal of the season came at the hands of Conor Roddy ’16, who scored an unassisted goal at 11:29. Roddy was followed shortly after by fellow rookie Bryson Gilbert-Bono ’16 who scored at 9:57, assisted by Steven Kiesel ’15. Wesleyan responded during the first quarter with three goals, making the score 3-2 in Wesleyan’s favor heading into the second quarter. The Ephs fought back with two goals in the second, with Gilbert-Bono tacking on another, unassisted, and Andy Grabowski ’15 scoring his first of the game, assisted by tri-captain Will Stewart ’13. Going into halftime, the scoreboard had the Ephs ahead 4-3.
Wesleyan came out fast from the locker room, tying the game just 1:37 into the second half. The Cardinals added another goal six minutes later, bringing the score to 5-4 in Wesleyan’s favor. The Ephs didn’t allow themselves to fall too far behind, however, and responded with two goals to end the third quarter. Grabowski scored his second, assisted by Colin Foster ’14 at 10:53, while Gilbert-Bono tallied his third of the game, unassisted again, at 11:50. The third quarter ended with the Ephs up 6-5.
The Cardinals again scored just minutes into the fourth quarter to tie the game. This time, however, the men had no response, and with a final Wesleyan goal at 12:48, the game ended in a 7-6 loss for the men.
“The Wesleyan game was a classic NESCAC lacrosse battle that was decided in the final few minutes,” Head Coach George McCormack said. “Our team played hard all game long and showed a lot of promise. Unfortunately, Wesleyan was able to execute at both ends of the field in those last critical moments of the game, and we had a tough road loss to start our season. Our team will learn from this game and focus all our time and energy on preparing for our next opponent.”
Tri-captain Mack von Mehren ’13 had a similar attitude. “We put three good quarters of lacrosse together, but that is not going to be good enough if we want to be successful this year,” von Mehren said. “Close losses like this one are the worst to handle, but there were some good things that we did during the Wesleyan game that we can build off of in practice this week in preparation for Trinity. We have the potential to be a great team, and we just need to start learning how to win. Close games are a reality in a conference like the NESCAC, and the team that plays with poise in the fourth quarter is going to win games.”
The men will play Trinity this Saturday at 1 p.m. at home on Renzie Lamb Field. The men have three games over the break before hosting Bates in their first home match, after spring break on March 30.