Men’s lacrosse defeats Trinity in season opener

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The men’s lacrosse team ended the 2019 season with 18 wins and ranked No. 1 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Div. III Men’s Preseason poll. (Photo courtesy of Sports Information).

Men’s lacrosse (1–0/1–0 in the NESCAC) started off their season with a four-goal flurry from Cory Lund ’21 and Kevin Stump ’20 in the opening minutes of the game to down Trinity (0–1/0–1 in the NESCAC) 13-6. Three-goal bursts to start both the second and fourth quarters helped the Ephs secure their lead and the first victory of the season.

The Ephs were led by Lund and Stump, who both recorded hat tricks, and Jake Haase ’22 with four assists. Jared Strauss ’21 and John Hincks ’20 added two goals. The Ephs won 17 of 23 faceoffs and picked up 31 ground balls to the Bantams’ 19. 

The win confirms the ensemble team’s strength: the Ephs ranked No. 1 in the Nike/US Lacrosse Div. III Men’s Preseason poll as part of the US Lacrosse Magazine January edition. The men ended the 2019 season with a resounding 18 wins and an appearance at the national semifinals. They come into the 2020 season with leadership from captains Rock Stewart ’20, Noah McCoy ’20, Hincks, Stump and Brendan Hoffman ’20, who was selected as US Lacrosse Magazine Pre-Season Player of the Year. 

The Ephs took control of this game early on after Lund and Haase paired together less than a minute into the game to score the first goal of the season. With an assist from Strauss, Stump netted his first goal of the game shortly after. Saves by Bantam Patrick Grimes and the Ephs’ David Gahagan ’21 stopped the initial storm of offense, but only temporarily, as Lund and Stump, both assisted by Haase, each put in their second goals of the season before the seven-minute mark of the first half. Jackson Wood put Trinity on the board with 2:16 left in the first quarter to bring the first quarter score to 4-1.

Less than a minute into the second quarter, Hincks clinched a goal. Lund and Stump kept up the momentum shortly after, allowing the Ephs to widen their lead to 6-1 before a Trinity timeout. Undeterred by the stoppage, Strauss scored an unassisted goal out of the timeout. Jack Cahill grabbed one back for the home side to break the Ephs’ scoring run.

Strauss then put in his second goal of the quarter, and  Stewart added another one for the Ephs before the Bantams put together a good offensive possession that culminated in a goal from Cahill with four minutes until half time. The first half ended at 9-3 Ephs.

Trinity kept the Ephs’ offense to just one goal in the third quarter. Spencer Goodbar ’23 netted the first goal of his collegiate career closing the third quarter 10-5.

The Ephs’ Haase, Lund and Hincks, scored three goals in the first five minutes of the final quarter. Trinity was able to get one goal back off a shot from Andrew Collins late in the fourth quarter, but the Bantams were unable to overcome their early deficit.

“Harry [Gahagan] played really well in cage and the defense played physical,” Eph head coach George McCormack said. “Cory [Lund], Kevin [Stump] and Jake [Haase] all stepped up at attack and the midfield of [John] Hincks, [Jared] Strauss and [Spencer] Goodbar had a strong day. Alex Kitt [’21] did a great job at the faceoff. We are very fortunate to get an early-season conference win on the road; they are hard to come by.”

The Ephs look forward to their next game at 11th-ranked Union College today, taking on the Dutchmen at 5:00 p.m.