Men’s lacrosse (10-7, 6-5 in the NESCAC) saw its season come to a close last Saturday in the semifinals of the NESCAC tournament. No. 4 seeded Williams fell to No. 1 Tufts 17-6 in a grueling and competitive game. The Ephs have a successful and memorable season to look back on, overcoming the adversity of the Weston renovation and consequently not having a home field until the last three games of the season. The Ephs were the only NESCAC team to beat the Jumbos all season, winning 15-8 in regular play.
Tufts came out on its home field ready to enact revenge on the men for their only NESCAC loss in the regular season. The Jumbos took the initial face-off and scored within the first 30 seconds of the game, setting the tone early. Tufts was relentless and battered the men’s defense from the onset of play. Although the Ephs called an early time-out, attempting to quell some of the Jumbos’ momentum, the Jumbos refused to be stopped and quickly notched another two goals.
Finally, the Ephs managed to possess the ball on their offensive end of the field, settling in to attack. Five minutes into the game, Jack Lauroesch ’16 fired a pass to Andy Grabowski ’15 who sent the ball whistling into the back of the net, getting the Ephs on the board. The quarter ended with a 4-1 Tufts advantage, and Tufts outshot Williams 23-6 in the first frame of play.
At the start of the second quarter, Tufts added another goal before Michael Fahey ’17 contributed with a goal, again assisted by Lauroesch. Down 5-2, Williams scrambled to keep up with Tufts’ momentum, and the men surrendered four-straight unanswered goals. Although the Ephs created several offensive opportunities, their attack failed to capitalize. The Tufts defense seemed almost impenetrable until Eric Kelley ’15 scored an unassisted goal with 4:11 left in the quarter. Both teams then netted a goal apiece and the half ended with a 10-4 score in favor of the Jumbos.
The second half began much like the first had progressed, as Tufts netted two goals early into the third quarter. Conor Roddy ’15 responded quickly, however, scoring much needed back-to-back goals. The Ephs and the Jumbos battled for possession for the rest of the quarter and although the Ephs had several on-goal opportunities, they could not find the back of the net. At the end of the third quarter, the score was 12-6.
The fourth quarter of the game was completely dominated by Tufts, as the men struggled to break their opponent’s momentum and consistency. The Jumbos netted five more goals in the fourth quarter while the Ephs failed to score. At the final whistle, the score was 17-6, in favor of Tufts. The men were outshot 64-43 on the day and Eph netminder Dan Whittam ’15 accrued 14 saves.
“We had higher ambitions than what we accomplished, but I do not believe that the loss overshadowed how tremendously proud we are of our season,” said tri-captain Ben Allison ’14.
This year marked the first time the Ephs had been in postseason competition in four years and the first time the Ephs have made the NESCAC semifinals in six years. Head Coach George McCormack was awarded NESCAC co-Coach of the Year along with Coach Daly of Tufts. Ryan Hamilton ’16 was awarded First Team All-NESCAC honors, while tri-captain Stephen Upton ’14 and Whittam were awarded Second Team All-NESCAC honors. The team will graduate Peter Sullivan ’14, John Wawrose ’14, tri-captain David Lee ’14, Allison, Upton and Kelley.
“This was the greatest team I have ever been apart of,” said Allison. “The comradary and selflessness was truly inspiring.”