Rough start in Ann Arbor: Men’s lacrosse drops opener to Michigan

Courtesy+of+Athletic+Communications

Courtesy of Athletic Communications

AJ Traub

There’s few bigger stages to open up a season than the “Big House,” and the men’s lacrosse team had the tough task of doing just that.

On Feb. 11, the Lafayette men’s lacrosse team started their 2017 campaign with an away game against the University of Michigan. The Wolverines took a 6-1 lead by the end of the first quarter and didn’t look back, besting the Leopards 17-6 on the day.

“Obviously we didn’t come out the way we wanted to,” sophomore goalie Jonathan Anastos said. “We got a bit caught off guard. We are using it as a learning experience. We didn’t play the way we usually play. I don’t know if it was jitters or guys being nervous. If we build off of our momentum we gained in the preseason, I believe this team will be successful in future games.”

Michigan is one of the 32 teams receiving votes for the Inside Lacrosse top collegiate rankings.

“It’s great to play teams out of conference that we don’t usually play so we get to see new offenses and tactics,” Anastos said. “We use that in preparation for Patriot League play.”

“It was a really positive experience,” junior midfield Scott McAvoy said. “It was the first time we flew to a game. Being in an environment like Michigan and their facilities was a really cool experience.”

McAvoy scored two goals on five shots, making him the only Leopard to have a multi-goal game on Saturday.

“It was satisfying based on all the work we put in during the offseason,” McAvoy said. “I found myself in good situations where I could capitalize on opportunities.”

Anastos blocked 16 of Michigan’s shots on goal, but the Wolverines kept the pressure coming and forced the Leopards to make errors.

“We are just trying to iron out the mistakes we made,” Anastos said. “We made a lot of little mistakes, and the little mistakes led to the outcome.”

The Leopards are looking to build upon the positives and use the loss at Michigan to get better.

“We are using the Michigan game as a learning opportunity,” McAvoy said. “We are using the film to fix all the little mistakes that we made. Hopefully, we are going to correct all those going into our game on Friday against Wagner.”

The team is excited to grow as a unit throughout the season.

“Our team has really strong senior leadership,” Anastos said. “The juniors and seniors do a great job of holding everyone accountable and taking the program in the right direction. We do have strong freshmen on the team, in particular Shayne Sharp, Chris Adamo and Michael Sands. They’re going to be a big part this year. They can definitely make an impact on the team this year.”

The Leopards hope to bounce back when they head to Staten Island on Friday, Feb. 17 to face the Wagner College Seahawks in hopes of securing their first victory of the season.