Lacrosse season officially started with the Cardinals’ opener against Williams last Saturday. The men’s and women’s teams each won their matchups against the Ephs, indicating a strong start to the season. Each game was a nail-biter with the men holding off a late rally from Williams and the women winning in a tense overtime.
The men’s team traveled to Farley-Lamb Field at Williams College to hand the Little Three rival their first loss of the season. Harry Stanton ’18 scored four goals, giving himself a great start in the chase for an all-time scoring record. By scoring just less than half of the Cards’ goals against Williams, Stanton stands just 86 points from a program record. Ronan Jacoby ’21, Cole Turpin ’18, Tom Martello ’20, Carter Hawthorne ’19, and Zander Kotsen ’19 each scored a goal to down the Ephs 9-8.
This marks the ninth consecutive win over Williams for the men’s team, but the Ephs didn’t make it easy. They raced to a one-goal lead before halftime. In the third quarter, however, the Cardinals posted five goals and held a dominating advantage over their Little Three rivals. The Red and Black led 9-5 over Williams thanks to Martello’s goal in the fourth quarter with 12 minutes remaining. But over the course of the next six minutes, Williams rallied and scored three goals, cutting the Cardinals’ lead to one. The final six minutes remained scoreless, allowing Wesleyan to eke out their first victory of the year.
The men look forward to playing Coast Guard Academy on Tuesday, March 6. The game was originally scheduled for Wednesday but was moved for the upcoming nor’easter. The Coast Guard men’s team posted a 17-1 win over Norwich last Saturday, setting up an exciting matchup for Tuesday.
The women’s lacrosse team faced a similar situation as the men’s team on Smith Field at Wesleyan. After both Abby Manning ’20 and Caitlin Wood ’19 scored three points, the Cardinals led the Ephs 9-6. The Ephs successfully rallied in this game to tie the match at 9-9. The final six minutes, like the men’s match, went scoreless, sending the game to overtime.
Williams won the draw at the start of overtime, giving them the opportunity to edge out the Red Birds. Goalie Allegra Grant ’20 made a remarkable save in overtime, adding to her total of 13 for the game. The save gave another opportunity to the Cardinals to close out the game—an opportunity they did not waste. Manning sent a pass that landed in the stick of Kat Cucullo ’21. Cucullo found the back of the net, ending the game and earning the Cardinals a win. It was the first goal she has scored in collegiate lacrosse.
The Cardinals had a strong performance with many players contributing to the victory. Four players (Manning, Wood, Abigail Horst ’19, Emma Richards ’20) each scored two goals. Grant, in her first collegiate win, saved an impressive 13 shots. Eleven players got a ground ball, outperforming Williams on loose ball situations. However, Wesleyan will look to control its turnovers. The Cardinals lost the ball 17 times against their rival, 12 of which came in the first half.
The women’s team will play Vassar next on Tuesday, March 6. This game has also been rescheduled from Wednesday. Last season the Brewers had mixed results, but sometimes downed talented teams are the most dangerous kind. Tuesday’s matchup could be an interesting bellwether for the Cardinals’ season to come.
The wins over the Ephs boded well for the strength of both the women’s and men’s lacrosse teams. Returning veterans like Stanton continue their dominance while new stars like Grant emerge to bolster both teams. Though the victories were by a slim margin, any win in the NESCAC is hard-earned. The Cardinals teams will look to improve on this success in their respective seasons.
Connor Aberle can be reached at email@example.com.