Men’s lacrosse nets close win against Drexel

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Junior midfielder Brian Collins (pictured) battles with a defender in last Tuesday’s 13-11 win against Drexel University. (Photo courtesy of GoLeopards)

Issy Bongiovanni, Staff writer

The men’s lacrosse team (2-1 overall, 0-0 Patriot League) secured their second win of the spring season at Fisher Stadium on Tuesday night. They managed to hold onto a small lead throughout the game, ultimately beating Drexel University 13-11.

“We really credit the coaching staff with preparing us well for this game, they did a good job of scouting. I also credit the scout team as well, they did a good job of repping their personnel,” senior goalkeeper Ryan Ness said. “We take a lot of pride in focusing on ourselves but also getting good knowledge of the opponent, and that’s really up to our coaching staff.”

Sophomore attacking duo Peter Lehman and Kalman Kraham dominated the game, scoring three goals apiece and leading the scoreboard for Lafayette.

Freshman goalkeeper Gabe Cummins added nine saves to his ledger, while junior attacker Ryan Duncan and sophomore attacker Charlie Cunniffe each recorded two assists. Sophomore midfielder Aidan Kelly picked up eight ground balls and had many successful faceoffs throughout the game.

“Our defense and our faceoff also played well, shout out to Aidan Kelly,” Ness said. “He went thirteen to eighteen at the faceoff X. He really sparked us there, getting us the ball in possession.”

Lehman and Duncan scored two goals for the Maroon and White in the first two minutes and 15 seconds of the game.

“Lehman played really well. He dodged well, fed other guys and did really well on our offensive end,” Ness said.

Drexel responded to Lehman and Duncan’s efforts with back-to-back goals to tie up the score at 2-2 in the following three minutes.

In the last 16 seconds of the first quarter, Lehman scored two goals a mere 13 seconds apart. The first 15 minutes ended with Lafayette ahead at 5-4.

Sophomore midfielder John Mathes earned the goal for the Maroon and White within the first minute of the second period, followed by a Drexel goal. Kraham went on to score another two before junior midfielder Brian Collins added one to bring Lafayette to nine. Drexel trailed behind with five goals.

“I think our transition game really sparks our bench and sideline and that really gets the guys going,” Ness said. “When we’re able to get the ball up and out fast and get it down to our attack and score a goal, it’s really awesome to see. Seeing those goals in transition are really a team effort goal.”

The Leopards went cold in the third quarter as the Dragons scored three times, all unanswered by the Leopards. It was one-goal game heading into the fourth quarter with Lafayette up 9-8.

“As a team, every single week we come out whether it’s a win or loss just trying to play a complete game,” Ness said. “Minimizing our mistakes and just trying to play a full sixty minutes with composure.” 

Drexel scored first in the final quarter to tie the game. That was until senior midfielder Cole Dutton and sophomore midfielder Jacob Freeman scored a goal each.

The Dragons responded with another point to which Freeman and Kraham tallied back-to-back goals just 37 seconds apart. These final points won the game for the Leopards 13-11.

“You need to have a neutral mindset and always just get back to work the day after a game, whether it’s a win or a loss,” Ness said. “We did a lot of things well defensively and offensively, but we’re always priding ourselves on the team mindset, ‘doesn’t matter, get better.’ It’s always awesome to get a big win like this, but we got to come back hungry.”

The men’s lacrosse team next play against Binghamton at Fisher Stadium tomorrow at 6 p.m. 

“We’ve played Binghamton a lot in the past, so we have a good knowledge of their cast of characters and their players,” Ness said. “We’re as hungry as ever. I’m confident in this group and the belief we have as a team going forward, so I’m very excited.”