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The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

The Oldest College Newspaper in Pennsylvania

The Lafayette

Men’s lacrosse wins Athlete Ally game against Sacred Heart

Leopards celebrate one of the many goals scored during the men’s lacrosse team’s first win of the 2023 season. (Photo by Hannah Ally for GoLeopards)

On Saturday, the Lafayette men’s lacrosse team (1-3 overall) faced off against Sacred Heart at its home field. The team pulled out its first win of the 2023 season, defeating Sacred Heart 15-8.

Coming off two consecutive losses, the team had a lot to focus on in practice prior to Saturday’s game.

“We’re our biggest opponent,” senior attack Ryan Duncan said, adding that one of the main focuses of the week was “trying to get our offense and defense to play well together.”

Senior midfielder Brian Collins said that the team has been trying to “be aggressive but smart at the same time,” and that the Leopards’ strategy going into the game was to “make smart decisions while trying to push it.”

The Leopards had a goal-heavy first quarter, with Lafayette having six different goal-scorers. Sophomore midfielder Liam Sargent started the scoring with 14:02 left on the clock.

“Scoring for us was huge … getting that first goal and breaking the ice I think does a great job of initiating our offense,” junior attacker Peter Lehman said.

In addition to Sargent, five more players — junior attacker Kalman Kraham, Lehman, sophomore attacker Riley Sullivan, freshman attacker Nick Muller and junior midfielder John Mathes — added to Lafayette’s score, giving them a 6-2 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The second quarter showed a slowing of momentum and held low scores for both teams, with Lafayette netting two and Sacred Heart scoring only one goal. Lafayette entered intermission with a strong 8-3 lead.

After a slow start to the second half, Lafayette made two strong plays to get the game going again. Lehman made a goal off of an assist from Mathes with 9:31 left in the third, and 15 seconds later, Collins passed to junior attacker Charlie Cunniffe, who found the back of the net and brought Lafayette to an 11-4 lead. Five more goals were netted in the third quarter, with Lehman contributing three and Cunniffe adding two. The Leopards entered the final quarter with a 13-4 lead.

Mathes scored a third time to complete his hat trick at 7:36 in the fourth quarter and was followed by Duncan finding the back of the net at 4:39 for his first goal of this season. Sacred Heart also made some goals in the final minutes but was unable to overcome the Leopards’ lead. This game marked a career-high for Lehman, who netted an impressive five goals.

When reflecting on the game, Collins complimented Lehman. “The offense always plays better when he’s on his game,” he said.

Lafayette freshman keeper Joe Doherty played all 60 minutes, making an impressive nine saves and earning his first collegiate win.

In addition to Lafayette’s offensive success, the defense had a strong game as well with eight caused turnovers. Sophomore defender Cade Kilbride and senior defender Tommy McGee contributed three and two turnovers respectively to the total for the night. The team saw big successes with its clear attempts as well, going 15-16 and forcing Sacred Heart into 16 turnovers.

Saturday’s game was the annual Athlete Ally game, which the team uses as a platform to support LGBTQ+ rights. Donations were collected at the game to support the PA Trans Equity Project.

“I think it’s important to have a purpose going into games,” Duncan said.

Senior midfielder Gunnar Bogorowski spearheaded the cause and helped coordinate the game.

“I think it’s always great to support a great cause … so that’s always special,” Lehman said.

The Leopards will continue to work hard this week, not letting the win get to their heads.

“We try to treat post-games the same whether we win or lose,” Duncan said.

“Even with a win, you see a lot of things you did wrong and a lot of places you can take more advantage of,” Collins said.

The Leopards will face off against Binghamton tomorrow at noon in Vestal, N.Y.

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Fiona Cannon
Fiona Cannon, Staff Sports Writer

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