Slow Start Dooms Men's Lacrosse

Slow Start Dooms Men's Lacrosse

COLLEGEVILLE, Pa. – This time, a big early deficit was too much to overcome for the No. 10 Ursinus College men's lacrosse team.

The Bears fell behind 5-0 in the first quarter before making a run in the second, but visiting Haverford was able to pull away a second time and leave Patterson Field with a 12-9 Centennial Conference victory on Saturday.

Ursinus (10-2, 4-2) found itself in a 5-0 hole last Saturday at Franklin & Marshall, but managed to dig out and win in overtime. The Bears had no such luck on this day, ultimately succumbing to their first home loss of the season.

The Bears put up 50 shots on the afternoon, but were never able to get their high-octane offense untracked except for a surge from the latter portion of the first quarter into the early part of the second.

Already down 5-0, Ursinus scored twice in 9 seconds to inject some momentum into a rough start. Junior Sam Mutz tickled the twine on a feed from senior Peter DeSimone, and sophomore Rei Lopez won the ensuing faceoff and passed ahead to junior Bobby McClure for a quick snap shot to make it 5-2 with 2:45 left in the period.

Haverford added another before the end of the quarter, but Ursinus appeared to be well on its way to another comeback with a run of three straight goals to open the second. Junior Evan Scott finished off a jump-cut with a dunk into the back of the cage, McClure set up sophomore Hakan Atillasoy on the extra-man, and senior Tim Carroll ripped a shot past Haverford's Ethan Donlon to make it 6-5 at the 10-minute mark.

Haverford rediscovered its footing with four straight markers of its own before Atillasoy broke up the spurt with a nice high-to-low scoop to cut the margin to 10-6 heading into intermission.

The teams traded a solitary goal in the third, and Ursinus sliced the deficit to 11-8 on McClure's goal with 12:08 to play. But a combination of penalties and inaccurate shooting conspired to keep the Fords in front to stay, and the Bears were unable to get any closer.

Sean Mowatt-Larssen led the visitors with four goals and Garret Trucksess handed out four assists, but the star of the day was Donlon. The Fords' keeper racked up 19 saves – at least four in each quarter – to hold the Bears under 10 goals for the first time all year.

Atillasoy and McClure registered two goals and an assist apiece for the Bears, with Mutz scoring two goals and DeSimone producing a pair of assists.

Lopez finished 13-for-23 on faceoffs with eight ground balls, while senior Alex Middleman anchored the defense with four caused turnovers and four ground balls.

Junior Matt Nunziata played the first half between the pipes before giving way to freshman Chris Porzelt, who had five saves in the second half.

With two games remaining, Ursinus dropped into a tie with Dickinson for third place in the conference standings. The Bears have a big road game Wednesday, when they head to Allentown to take on Muhlenberg, which is lurking one game back of the playoff field.