Ephs outlast Mules in 11-8 contest

The long journey to Maine proved worthwhile for men’s lacrosse (5-5, 3-4 in the NESCAC) last Saturday as the team picked up its third NESCAC win of the season against Colby 11-8. Earlier in the week, the men dispatched Union in a close 7-6 overtime game on Wednesday.

The game against Colby was very evenly matched from faceoffs to groundballs. The Mules netted the first goal of the game quickly, just 1:47 into the first half. Fortunately, Williams answered this goal only a minute later with a goal by Khary Dennis ’16. The Mules soon regained their lead after a man-up opportunity created by a pushing penalty on Zander Masucci ’16. With just over a minute remaining in the first period, Steven Kiesel ’15 tied the game for the Ephs, knotting the score at 2-2.

After Colby opened the second quarter with back-to-back goals, the men recovered with goals from Tucker Dayton ’14 and Colton Growney ’13. The Ephs and the Mules continued to rally back and forth before the Ephs embarked on a three-goal streak in the second period with goals from tri-captain Evan Dedominicis ’13, Mericos Rhodes ’14 and tri-captain Will Stewart ’13. Taking place in just three and a half minutes, the streak gave the men the momentum to end the first half in their favor with a score of 7-6.

Although the second half started out a little slowly, Dedominicis sent two shots to the back of the net to complete his hat trick for the day, as well as bring the men to a three-goal lead. Colby retaliated with 29 seconds left in the third quarter but Kiesel scored with only one second remaining in the third quarter to bring the score to 10-7 in the Ephs’ favor.

The fourth quarter of the game opened with a goal from Conor Roddy ’16 in a man-up situation, assisted by Dedominicis. The Mules had the last goal of the game at 1:41 when Chip Grossman brought the score to 11-8. Goalie Dan Whittam ’15 had 17 saves while the Colby goalie only had eight. With a strong end to the game, the Ephs came out victorious 11-8.

“Our win at Colby was big due to the fact that it is our first win in Waterville in our last four trips up there,” Head Coach George McCormack said. “It is also big because we’re fighting to make the playoffs.”

Last Wednesday, the men faced off against Union in a tight match that was delayed nearly three hours due to lightning and inclement weather.  The Dutchmen scored the first goal of the game midway through the first quarter. Wasting no time, they soon tacked on a second goal with 6:35 to play in the first period.  The Ephs responded two minutes later when Dedomonicis tallied the first goal of the match for the Ephs, assisted by Rhodes. However, Union tacked on one more goal before the first quarter came to a close, ending the period with a score of 3-1 in favor of the Dutchmen.

In the second period, neither team conjured much offense, with the Ephs mustering only six shots and the Dutchmen managing just three shots on their end. Turnovers proved costly for both teams, though neither team managed to take advantage of the other’s mistake. The men went to the locker room down by two goals.

Five minutes into the second half, Union rediscovered its offense, taking advantage of the second penalty of tri-captain Mack Von Mehren ’13 on the day and scoring the Dutchmen’s fourth goal. Though both teams saw more man-up opportunities in the third quarter, neither team capitalized on them, and the third period ended with the Ephs trailing the Dutchmen 4-1.

The fourth quarter proved to be the spark the Ephs needed, as Roddy scored with 10 minutes to play. Growney tacked on a third goal for the men, bringing the score to 4-3. The men then traded goals with Union, as Union scored once, followed by another goal by Roddy and one final goal by the Dutchmen. With less than two minutes left in the game, Growney scored his second goal of the game, bringing the Ephs within one at 6-5. With just 17 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Andy Grabowski ’15 scored the tying goal, assisted by Growney.

The Ephs controlled the overtime period after an early turnover by the Dutchmen. The men eventually won the game 7-6 when Growney scored the winning goal, bringing his total to three on the day.

“Down 4-1 with eight minutes remaining in the game, our team showed a lot of mental toughness to come back and win 7-6 in overtime,” McCormack said. “We had to execute on our man-down defense to create a turnover and then our offense had to score with just seconds left on the clock to tie up the contest.”

The Ephs played at Hamilton last Tuesday, but results came in too late to report. They will host Amherst this Saturday at 1 p.m.