The men’s lacrosse team (7-5, 4-3 NESCAC) continued its NESCAC campaign this past week with matches against Division III frontrunner Tufts and NESCAC rival Trinity.
Tufts, currently ranked first in Division III, visited Wesleyan on Saturday. Matt Prezioso ’15, the team’s points leader with 44 (28 goals and 16 assists), filled The Argus in on the latest lax happenings, starting with the Tufts game.
“The Tufts game was a great opportunity for us to make a statement in the NESCAC with the number one team in the country coming to play at our home field,” Prezioso wrote in an email to The Argus. “Unfortunately the game didn’t go as planned. Overall I thought we came out fired up and ready to play these guys, as evident by the score through the third quarter. But the end of the third we caught some unlucky breaks that put us down two goals heading into the fourth, and Tufts was able to capitalize on more opportunities than us in that fourth quarter to seal the game.”
Late in the third period, Prezioso tied the game up at nine, but it didn’t take long before Tufts regained the lead for good. The fourth period got away from the Cards, and the game ended up 15-9.
Prezioso was positive, however, about the effort his boys showed against top opposition.
“For the most part both offensively and defensively we stuck to our game plan and were right there with those guys,” Prezioso wrote. “Aside from a couple unforced errors and unlucky breaks, I thought we put ourselves in a good opportunity to knock those guys off.”
The boys had to dust themselves off quickly to prepare for Trinity, and Prezioso was happy with how the team handled a busy few days.
“We had a very short turnaround, with Trinity on Tuesday and the holiday on Sunday, but everyone came focused and prepared for practice on Monday,” Prezioso wrote. “During this stretch of the season there is really no time for us to feel sorry for ourselves about one game, because every three days we are facing another NESCAC opponent and are fighting for seeding for the NESCAC tournament.”
The squad knew it would be important to right the tracks against Trinity, who sat way behind Wesleyan in the standings.
“During the Trinity game we came out flying around,” Prezioso wrote. “Offensively we were finding the open men and getting some great looks, and defensively we were making some key stops and getting the ball up field to us on the offensive end. You could tell that we were just more fired up than those guys based on the number of tough ground balls we were picking up.”
Wesleyan dominated the first three periods, and the squad was in cruise control entering the fourth with the score comfortably at 12-3. Prezioso was thrilled with how the Cards handled the game, and specifically with the play of David Murphy ’15, who has sat out much of the season due to injury. Both he and Prezioso netted four times.
“On the offensive end it was great to see David Murphy back out there after sitting out for half the season with a broken wrist,” Prezioso wrote. “Adding a guy like him back into the lineup really makes our offensive more dynamic. Anytime we are able to have six or more guys on the field capable of scoring makes it really hard for opposing defenses to scout, and opens up opportunities for some of the other guys like myself, Harry Stanton ’18, Lyle Mitchell ’16, Nate Ryan ’15, Niall Devaney ’16, and Stephen Dodd ’15.”
Wesleyan came out on top with a 13-7 win against Trinity, and Prezioso is already looking ahead to Saturday’s vital home game against Williams, the next contest in this busy final stretch for the Cards.
“We were happy to pull out the win against Trinity and now we are just focused on the next game against Williams at home Saturday, which has huge NESCAC playoff implications, much like all the rest of our games,” he wrote. “We are trying to make a run in these last three games and lock up that home first round playoff game. Williams is going to be a tough team, but playing that game at home on Senior Day with a bunch of alumni and fans coming should definitely swing the momentum in our favor.”