On Tuesday, April 8, the men’s lacrosse team traveled to Hartford to take on the Trinity Bantams. With a dominant performance, the Cardinals came away with a convincing 11-6 win, which improves their record to 6-1 in the NESCAC.
“I thought we came out strong,” commented Captain Sam Stanton ’14. “We are a much faster team than Trinity, so we used that to our advantage in the first half, then kept the lead for the rest of the game.”
Despite the Bantams drawing first blood, the Cardinals quickly answered and tied the game at 1-1, less than a minute after the Bantams’ opening goal. After just over three minutes of play, the Cardinals took the lead and never looked back, ending the first quarter with a 6-1 lead.
“I think the offense came out particularly keyed in on the task at hand early in the game, said Captain Elliot Albert ’14. “They were firing on all cylinders and not taking any opportunities for granted.”
The Cardinals were clearly the better team, and it showed. They dominated every facet of the game, winning 15 of 21 face-offs and fighting for nine more ground balls.
“I think our team had more experience and depth,” said Captain Aidan Daniell ’14. “Trinity was a younger, less experienced group, which their record has shown.”
At the end of the first half, the Cardinals led 8-2, with goals coming from six different players during their 8-0 run, including two from both Matt Prezioso ’15 and Remy Lieberman ’14. Prezioso, who also had two assists, and junior Nate Ryan’s one goal and three assists led the team with four points each. Although the Cardinals cooled off and were outscored 3-2 in the fourth quarter, they still came out with the five point victory.
“Sometimes it is hard to come out with a ton of energy when you are playing a team that has struggled all year but our guys did just that,” Albert said. “While there was a slight lull in the middle of the game, in the end we took care of business.”
Once again, Justin Schick ’15, who made his second career start, was dominant between the pipes for the Redbirds. He recorded a season-high 14 saves, and improved his season save percentage to .608.
With the Cardinals’ win and a Colby upset over Bowdoin 11-7, the Redbirds moved into sole possession of first place in the NESCAC, while the Polar Bears fall to third. Although the game was not that close, last week’s game might have been just what was needed as the Cardinals head into the weekend and prepare to host Bowdoin on Saturday, April 12 at 1 p.m.
“Trinity will help us prepare for Bowdoin because there were plays that need to be tweaked for Saturday,” Daniell said. “Trinity served as an excellent learning experience in preparation for a strong team like Bowdoin.”
In planning for Bowdoin, who the Cardinals beat last year 8-7 in overtime in the NESCAC tournament, Albert says the team will need to watch a lot of film.
“We see what has made them successful and put in the necessary game plan over the next few days to slow them down,” he said.
Saturday’s contest is really shaping up to be a great lacrosse game between two very competitive teams, with a top seed in the NESCAC tournament on the line.
“I think we need to prepare to play hard for 60 minutes because this is one of the best teams in the NESCAC, so we can’t let up at any phase of the game,” Stanton said. “I think if our defense plays fast, and our offense controls the ball well and plays smart, we’ll be successful.”