Men’s lacrosse falls on road to former America East rivals

Zach Smart

After jumping out to a sizzling 4-0 start, thoroughly taking care of non-conference foes on a physical brand of play, a swarming defense, and a creative offense featuring several perilous scorers, the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team has dropped its last two games.

The Bobcats came into last Saturday’s game at Vermont looking to exact vengeance upon the team which, for the past three years, had defeated them in tight games – all had been decided by one goal.

And so the storied rivalry between the former America East enemies renewed itself in Burlington, Vt. The Bobcats, however, ended up on the wrong end of the scoreboard as they were handed a 14-10 loss.

It was the Catamounts who stole the May Weekend game last year, though questionable calls late in overtime contributed to the 12-11 thriller back on April 30.

“It was kind of a crushing loss,” said Quinnipiac head coach Erik Fekete, who made sure the non-conference game stayed on the Bobcats’ schedule. “Jon D’Ascoli broke his leg in the game and it was a very emotional day for us. We don’t have to say a lot for these guys to get fired up and play Vermont because they are such a rival.”

“The game is something that we have all been waiting for the whole off season,” said Quinnipiac senior midfielder Sean McBride. “The past seasons we have gone into each game as the underdog. Now we are the favored. We want a chance of payback.”

D’Ascoli and the Bobcats came into the game on all cylinders, scoring the first four goals en route to a 5-2 halftime advantage.

A monster third stanza, however, allowed the Catamounts to crawl their way out of the deficit. They rolled off a 5-2 run which tied the score at 7 with 15 minutes remaining.

The final two goals of the third period, scored by Vermont’s Mike Maher and Jamie Kirk (game-high four goals, six assists), followed by four straight Vermont goals to start the fourth, completed a 6-0 surge that essentially did the Bobcats in.

The Bobcats answered back as Chris Griffin, Eric Trama and McBride all snapped shots past Matt Landsman (nine saves) to keep them within a goal, making it 11-10 with 6:41 left to go.

But the Catamounts would go on to score the final three goals of the contest, as consecutive shots from Kirk and John Forbes reached the back of the net.

McBride paced Quinnipiac with three goals, while Josh Murray and Anthony Poerio contributed two apiece. Griffin chipped in with a goal and two assists.

Quinnipiac plays again on Saturday at 1 p.m. when it hosts Bellarmine, which will join Quinnipiac in the Great Western Lacrosse League next season.

The Bobcats, who lost their Great Western Lacrosse League opener over Spring Break to Ohio State, 10-9, will try to make a name for themselves as conference action carries on after that for the next few weeks.