Men's Lacrosse Rallies From Five Down to Defeat Williams, 15-8, in NESCAC Quarterfinal Action

Photo by Steve McLaughlin
Photo by Steve McLaughlin

THE BASICS:

Score: Wesleyan 15, Williams 8
Records: Wesleyan (15-1, 9-1 NESCAC); Williams (7-9, 4-6 NESCAC)
Location: Middletown, Conn. (Jackson Field)
Date: Saturday, April 29
Time: 1 p.m.
The Lead: Down 6-1 in the first quarter, the nationally-ranked No. 7 Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team, seeded No. 2 in the NESCAC Championships, went on a 14-2 run en route to defeating seventh-seeded Williams College by a score of 15-8. Additionally, sophomore Carter Hawthorne reached the 100-career point milestone with one goal and three assists. He now has 103 points (54g, 49a) in less than two full seasons with the Cardinals.

FIRST HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • The Ephs controlled the first quarter, outscoring Wesleyan, 6-1. Michael Fahey opened the scoring with his goal at 12:52, but Tom Dupont '17 took a Cory Ekstrom '19 pass and tied the game at 1 at the 8:06 mark. Williams would then rattle off five straight goals to end the first quarter with a 6-1 lead.
  • Christian Barker '19 would bring the Cardinals to within four with his unassisted goal at 11:31. Hawthorne scored at 11:31 to bring the home team to within three goals.
  • At 4:54, Cole Turpin '18 found the back of the net and the Williams lead was down to two goals at 6-4.
  • Collin Hitter '18 found Ben Shively '18 who rifled a shot past Ephs net minder George Peele at 3:06 to make the score 6-5.
  • Up a man, Hawthorne found Dupont for the tying goal with 26 seconds remaining in the half. 

SECOND HALF HIGHLIGHTS:

  • Harry Stanton '18 gave Wesleyan its first lead of the game with his goal at 10:26 in the third to make the score 7-6.
  • Barker notched the seventh straight goal by the Cardinals at 9:39 to put the home team up by two at 8-6.
  • Maxwell Stukalin ended the Wesleyan scoring streak with a goal at 9:26 to brig the visitors to within one goal at 8-7.
  • Barker would score on the man up opportunity as he took a pass from Zander Kotsen '19 and put the ball pass Peele at 6:57 to put the home team back on top by two goals.
  • A few second later at 6:45, Shively would notch his second goal of the game to put Wesleyan up 10-7 in the third quarter.
  • The Cardinals would score four consecutive goals to start the fourth. Kotsen notched his first goal of the game at 13:57, while Colin Uyeki '19 also scored his first of the game at 12:43. Two goals from Ryan Flippin '18 put the home team up 14-7.
  • Williams ended the scoring run with a goal from Thomas Fowler at 6:16 in the fourth to make the score 14-8.
  • Stanton would sneak a ball past Peele off an Ekstrom pass at 5:28 to put Wesleyan up 15-8, and that would be the final score of the contest.

INSIDE THE NUMBERS:

  • Barker led the way with five points (3g, 2a), while Hawthorne notched four in the game (1g, 3a).
  • Ted Bergman '17 was excellent in net, making 10 saves. He also collected four groundballs.
  • Zach Zavalick '20 led the home team with five ground balls while going 11-22 on face-offs.
  • Fowler led the Ephs with four points (3g, 1a).
  • Wesleyan went 19-20 on clear attempts and 2-3 on the extra man.
  • Williams held a slight edge on shots at 40-38, and face offs at 14-27. 

BEYOND THE BOX SCORE:

  • With the win, the Cardinals advance to the NESCAC Semifinals for the first time since 2014 and improve to 4-0 all-time against the Ephs in the conference tournament.
  • The victory extends Wesleyan's winning streak to 15, and marks its eighth-straight against Williams dating back to 2011.

HEAD COACH JOHN RABA:

  • "I am pleased with our efforts today, and the resiliency we have shown all year long. Despite so many injuries and lineup changes our team has responded unbelievably!"
  • "We knew that Williams was going to come out strong, and they played very well early on. The fact that our team was down by five and they responded so well after the opening quarter shows we have the making of a championship team. We have shown a lot grit and determination all year long, and we are looking forward to next weekend!"

UP NEXT:

  • The Cardinals will face Tufts on Saturday, May 6 in Lewiston, Maine at 3 p.m. in the semifinals of the NESCAC Championship.

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