Down to the wire: Men’s lax hopes now reliant on others

Goalie+Jake+Hyatt+protects+the+net+against+Manhattan

Goalie Jake Hyatt protects the net against Manhattan

Michael Morgan

Photo by Austin Drucker ‘17

Playoff Hopes Dwindling

The Leopards’ playoff hopes are on life support with just two games remaining. But here is how Lafayette (2-9 overall, 1-5 Patriot League) can still find its way into the Patriot League Tournament:

1.) Lafayette must win its final two games—tonight at Bucknell, and next Friday at home against Lehigh.

2.) Bucknell must lose to No. 1 Loyola next Thursday.

3.) Boston and Holy Cross must each lose one of their remaining two conference games. If either team wins out, Lafayette will be eliminated from playoff contention.

If these three steps happen to occur over the next eight days, Lafayette will find itself in the sixth and final spot in the Patriot League Tournament.

 

Double OT Heart Breaker

Lafayette suffered a painful 8-7 loss to Manhattan College on Tuesday night. Despite outshooting Manhattan 47-20, Lafayette was unable to get off shots when it mattered most.

With the game tied and less than 20 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter, defenseman, captain Matt Evans ‘14 deflected an errant Manhattan pass, giving Lafayette a sudden fast break opportunity with a chance to net the winning goal in regulation.

Midfielder Morgan Westby ‘16 raced down the field with a Manhattan defender on his tail. With ten seconds remaining, Westby dished a quick pass to attackman Sonny Round ‘16 who failed to free his hands for a shot off his dodge.

With five seconds to go, Round tried to find attackman Brian Bock ‘15 in front of the crease, but Bock could not handle the pass as the game headed into overtime.

In both overtime periods combined, Lafayette managed to fire just one shot at the cage.

Just under two minutes into the second overtime period, Manhattan midfielder Tyler Eidel fired a bouncing shot past goalkeeper Jake Hyatt ‘14 for the win. Fisher Field then became a sea of green as Manhattan stormed the field to congratulate Eidel.

Senior captain Matt Evans could do nothing but stare in disbelief.

“The fact that it was a double overtime loss is very hard to swallow,” Evans said.

Perhaps what made it even harder to bear was the fact that Manhattan was 2-9 on the season going into Tuesday. It was a team that Lafayette expected to defeat, but fortunately for the Leopards this game will have no affect on its playoff hopes.

 

What’s Next?

Evans insists that while the team’s record has suffered, there has been no shortage of positivity in the Lafayette locker room.

“Wins and losses definitely matter,” Evans said, “But what makes lacrosse, and really athletics in general, great, is that you get to play with your best friends everyday. We still have two games and our goal is to beat them.”

Tonight, Lafayette will travel to Bucknell (6-6, 3-3 PL) looking to keep its playoff hopes alive for another day—though the Leopards know very well that forces out of their hands could crush their playoff chances.

In the next seven days, Evans and the rest of the senior class could be playing the final two games of their lacrosse careers. While the seniors are anxious to extend their careers past next Friday, going out strong seems to be an alternative goal to making the playoffs.

“It would mean a great deal to win these last two games,” Evans said. “This is my last season ever and to go out on a high note would be great.”