WILLIAMSTOWN, Mass. – Senior captain Harry Stanton recorded a four-goal outing for the No. 2-ranked Wesleyan University men's lacrosse team during its season opener on Saturday afternoon, as the Cardinals withstood a late rally by Little Three-rival Williams during a 9-8 triumph in Williamstown, Mass. to mark their ninth consecutive win over the Ephs.
Williams (1-0-0, 1-0-0 NESCAC) also received a three-point game from junior attack Carter Hawthorne (one goal, two assists), and two-point efforts from senior midfielder Cole Turpin (one goal, assist) and sophomore attack Tom Martello (one goal, one assist).
Leading the way for Williams (0-1-0, 0-1-0 NESCAC) were sophomore attack Kevin Stump (three goals, one assist) and senior attack James McFarland (two goals, two assists).
HOW IT HAPPENED:
- Wesleyan, which made it all the way to the semifinals of the NCAA Division III Tournament last season, took a 9-5 lead with 12:12 remaining in the game after three unanswered goals, as Stanton scored a pair at the end of the third quarter one minute, 14 seconds apart, and then Martello scored early in fourth, assisted by senior midfielder Ryan Flippin.
- Williams responded with three straight goals, and a tally by sophomore midfielder Maxwell Stukalin (two goals) trimmed the Cardinals' advantage to 9-8 with 6:19 left, but the Cardinals were able to hold on for the win.
- The Ephs raced out to a 4-2 advantage with 11:04 on the clock in the second, thanks to back-to-back tallies by Stump. Wesleyan was able to cut the deficit to one goal at 4-3 heading into halftime, as junior midfielder Zander Kotsen found the back of the cage with 9:04 left in the second.
- Wesleyan carried the momentum into the second half scoring three straight goals to take a 6-4 lead with 7:53 left in the third period on an extra-man goal by Stanton. Sophomore midfielder John Hincks (one goal, one assist) answered with a tally for the Ephs two minutes, 10 seconds, later, and then the two teams traded three-goal runs to end the game.
INSIDE THE NUMBERS:
- Each team fired 45 shots, with Wesleyan holding a 22-16 lead in shots on goal.
- Senior goalie Steve Kovalsky (1-0) made eight saves in the win for the Cardinals, and Ephs sophomore goalie George Peele (0-1) finished with a game-high 12 stops.
- The visitors won 13-of-21 faceoffs and led the ground-balls category, 27-23. Wesleyan was successful on 13-of-15 clears, while the hosts went 10-for-12 on clears.
- The Cardinals registered a 2-for-6 effort on man-up scenarios, and the Ephs posted a 1-of-6 showing.
- The Cardinals will compete against Coast Guard in New London, Conn., during non-conference action on Wednesday at 7 p.m.