Men’s Lacrosse Topples NESCAC Leader Trinity
On Tuesday afternoon in Hartford, Wesleyan men’s lacrosse proved it has what it takes to triumph in big-game situations. In the Cardinals’ antepenultimate contest of the season, a match-up versus in-state rival and NESCAC leader Trinity, the Redbirds fought hard and emerged victorious by a score of 12-8. Wesleyan improved to 5-3 in conference and 9-3 overall, while Trinity dropped to 6-2 in conference and 8-4 overall.
Wesleyan and Trinity appeared evenly matched in the first quarter. The Cardinals put themselves on the board at 12:16, as midfielder Teddy Citrin ’12 scored off of an assist from Joey Porcelli ’14. However, Bantam midfielder Matt Cohen responded with an unassisted score less than a minute later. Cardinal tri-captain midfielder John Froats ’12 fired back at 9:44 after receiving a pass from attacker and fellow captain Max Landow ’12, but Trinity attacker Jack Castelli answered at 6:41 to leave the teams tied at two at the end of the first frame.
The second and early third quarters saw Wesleyan gradually work their way into a considerable lead. Froats scored unassisted at 12:50 in the second quarter and assisted midfielder Aidan Daniell ’14 in a man-up situation at 7:56 to put the Cards up by two. Trinity’s Cohen scored his second goal of the afternoon at 6:15, but Froats scored again at 3:16 off of an assist from midfielder DJ Bernatavitz ’12. Bantam midfielder Steve Manning scored at 13:57 in the third quarter to start the period on a good note for his squad, only to have Citrin and Daniell tack on two more for Wesleyan with respective assists by attacker Graham Macnab ’14 and Froats. With less than half the game to play, Wesleyan led 7-4.
However, Trinity refused to give in. Following a slashing penalty by Cardinal defender Elliot Albert ’14, Bantam midfielder James O’Connell scored at 9:01 on a man-up setup. Teammates Manning and Castelli each scored their second goals of the game in the next three minutes to tie the teams at seven apiece, as Wesleyan struggled to regain their footing and stave off Trinity’s potent counterattack offense.
Eventually, the Cardinals stabilized and began to set up their zone defense effectively. As the third quarter wound down, Albert recovered the ball and ran the length of the field before assisting Citrin, who whipped it in at 2:10 to give Wesleyan back the lead at the end of the frame. The effort began a Cardinal run of five unanswered goals, as Froats assisted Porcelli at 12:02 in the fourth quarter before unassisted scores from Macnab at 4:30, Bernatavitz at 2:43, and Daniell at 2:04 en route to the 12-8 final.
This Saturday, April 21, Wesleyan travels to Somerville, MA to take on Tufts. The game promises to be another test of the Cardinals’ mettle, as Jumbos are ranked 5th in the NCAA Division III and are the sole occupiers of first place in the NESCAC following Trinity’s loss. Tune into #WESCORES on Twitter to follow the action as the Redbirds try to supplant its second first-place team in as many games.