Men’s lacrosse falls in NESCAC tournament

Men’s lacrosse (7–9, 4–6 in the NESCAC) closed its season last week with losses to Middlebury and Wesleyan. 

The Ephs qualified for the NESCAC tournament as the No. 7 seed and faced the No. 2 Wesleyan Cardinals in the first round. The teams had previously met April 8, when Wesleyan won 11-8. The rematch took place in Middletown, Conn., and the Cardinals survived an early scare from the Ephs to advance to the semifinal round.

The men won the first faceoff of the game and took control when tri-captain Michael Fahey ’17 scored, assisted by Duncan Cummings ’17. Wesleyan answered with a goal, but the men gained a second wind and went on a 5-0 run with scores from Fahey, tri-captain Thomas Fowler ’17, Max Stukalin ’20 and Kevin Stump ’20. The score at the end of the first was 6-1 Ephs. 

In the second, the Cardinals scored five unanswered goals to tie the game at six. 

Wesleyan came out strong in the third, netting two goals to take the lead. Stukalin responded with a goal, but Wesleyan scored back-to-back goals to end the quarter up by three. 

In the fourth quarter, the Cardinals extended their lead to 14-7. Fowler’s third goal, assisted by Chris McLaughlin ’18, gave the Ephs life, but they struggled to penetrate the Cardinal defense in the final minutes. The game finished 15-8 Wesleyan. 

Fowler led the way with three goals and an assist, while Fahey and Stukalin each scored twice. Goaltender George Peele ’20 made 10 saves.

The Ephs hosted the Middlebury Panthers on Wednesday in the final game of the regular season. On Farley-Lamb Field, the men fell 19-10.

The Ephs won the first faceoff, and Fahey scored the game’s first goal. The Panthers scored twice, but a goal from Stump knotted the score at 2-2. Jack Lee ’18 then scored to give the Ephs the lead at the end of the first quarter. 

The men hit the ground running once again in the second quarter, as John Hinks ’20 scored with an assist from Fowler. Fahey hit the top corner, and Fowler ripped a hard shot into the twine. With two seconds left in the half, Middlebury forward A.J. Kucinski hit a behind-the-back shot from 15 yards out to cut the lead to 6-5 Ephs. 

After the break, the Panthers won the first faceoff, and Kucinski scored on a fast break to tie the game. Middlebury then strung together a run of nine unanswered goals, taking a 13-6 lead. Fowler stopped the run with a score, but Middlebury scored four more to make it 17-7. 

The Ephs rebounded with back-to-back tallies from Fahey and Ben Fox ’18, but the lead had become insurmountable. The final score was 19-10 Panthers. 

Fahey scored three for Williams with three assists, and Fowler had two goals and an assist. Tri-captain Riley Hoffman ’17 picked up seven ground balls and caused a turnover. Peele recorded 15 saves.

With the loss to Wesleyan, the men were knocked out of the NESCAC tournament, effectively ending their season. 

Fahey’s 47 goals are tied for fourth in the NESCAC, and his 27 assists are tied for eighth. His 54 points in conference play were the most of any NESCAC player.

Stump scored 37 goals, tying for ninth in the NESCAC. Angus O’Rourke ’19 recorded 80 ground balls, fifth in the conference, and Rock Stewart ’20 was 11th in caused turnovers.

Head Coach George McCormack voiced his appreciation for graduating seniors Fahey, Fowler, Hoffman, Cummings and Devlin Nelligan ’17.

“Our seniors set the tone in the offseason with their strong commitment to preparing for success,” McCormack said. “Throughout the regular season, they maintained a positive attitude despite the ups and downs that we faced. We will sorely miss our seniors but remain optimistic that the returning players will pick up where they left off.”