Two wins for m. lacrosse this weekend

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

With 1:23 left on the clock and the score tied 11-11, men’s lacrosse captain Jack Walsh ’09 scored a quick-stick goal off a feed from captain Kyle Hollingsworth ’09, securing a 12-11 victory for the No. 15 men’s lacrosse team (3-1) over No. 18 Denver this Sunday.

The win was Brown’s second of the weekend, following a 7-3 victory on Friday afternoon against Quinnipiac.

“The first challenge going into the weekend was to play two games in three days at a high level. The second challenge we faced was more of an emotional one,” reflected Head Coach Lars Tiffany ’90. “We were coming off of two fourth-quarter breakdowns, surviving with a one-goal win against Lehigh, and giving up a five-goal lead in the fourth quarter, only to lose to Hofstra by one. So the emotional challenge may have been more critical.”

Brown 7, Quinnipiac 3

On attack against Quinnipiac, Andrew Feinberg ’11 and Hollingsworth combined for five goals and an assist, while captain Jordan Burke ’09 made 10 saves in the net.

After an early goal by Quinnipiac less than five minutes into the game, Brown built momentum with three unanswered goals of its own. Feinberg had the first goal of the series off a quick pass from defenseman Jake Hardy ’10, then Thomas Muldoon ’10 and Hollingsworth each netted a goal, giving the Bears a 3-1 lead at the end of the first quarter.

The Quinnipiac defense, and goalie Kevin Benzing, stymied the Bears in the second quarter, and with just over a minute left to play, the Bobcats cut Brown’s lead to just one goal.

Hollingsworth posted his second goal of the game, the only goal of the third quarter, to secure a two-goal lead going into the final quarter.

The Bears dominated the fourth quarter, quickly cushioning their score with three goals in the first thirteen minutes for a 7-2 lead. Of the three goals, Feinberg had two, and Nic Bell ’09 the third.

“We have to give a lot of credit to their goalie – he was simply outstanding,” Tiffany said. “We have an inexperienced defense, and limiting them to three goals was certainly a step in the right direction, as we define who we’re going to be at that end of the field.”

Brown 12, Denver 11

The transition to play Denver, a top-twenty program, with one day of rest was certainly an obstacle. But the Bears proved resilient, capitalizing on six of eight extra-man situations to pull out the 12-11 win.

Feinberg again had three goals and added three assists, coupling with Brady Williams ’09, who netted three more goals. Hollingsworth supported the attack with four assists, and a goal of his own, while Burke was strong in the net for the Bears, tallying ten saves.

The Bears dominated from the start, as Feinberg put away two goals and Reade Seligmann ’09 added a third for a 3-0 lead only five minutes in. However, the Pioneers retaliated with three goals of their own, leaving the score tied with 5:48 left in the first quarter. Williams answered with his first of three goals, and Jimmy Wittpenn ’11 secured a 5-3 lead for the Bears, scoring off a one-on-one drive.

The second quarter went into a lull with a series of turnovers, missed shots, and strong defense from both teams. Late in the half, Seligmann fed the ball to Williams on the crease for another goal, but Denver scored shortly afterwards to end the half with a 6-4 lead for the Bears.

The Pioneers opened the second half with three unanswered goals to gain a 7-6 lead, but the Bears answered with two of their own in the closing minutes of the third, when Hollingsworth assisted goals by Feinberg and Hardy.

Denver scored two goals to take a 9-8 lead early in the fourth quarter, but Williams’ third goal of the game tied it up and Hollingsworth’s first goal on the day gave Brown a 10-9 lead. Burke made two key saves to keep Brown in control, but with 6:30 left, the Pioneers tied the game at 10. Walsh answered with an impressve goal off a feed from Feinberg, as he grabbed and fired the ball while falling to the ground in front of the crease, to get the lead back with six minutes left. At 4:23, the Pioneers tied it up again, but Walsh’s game-winning goal with just over a minute remaining put Brown back on top.

“I thought we maintained our composure in the fourth quarter, and some guys really stepped up and had great plays,” Walsh said. “Kyle made an awesome pass at the end. And the crowd made a big difference­ – it was great to have that support.”

Denver gained possession of the ball with 32 seconds left in the game, but Burke came up with a crucial save, locking up the victory.

After the game, Williams said the main difference between this Sunday’s victory and last season’s 11-8 loss to the Pioneers was the team’s ability to remain “poised and capitalized on our extra man opportunities.”

“Last year Denver pressured us early and took us out of our game, but yesterday we focused on playing our game and did not worry about them,” Williams said. “

Looking forward to next Saturday, when the Bears will face UMass-Amherst, Tiffany said the Bears will need to shore up their defense.

“Right now we’re allowing too many good shots and too many crease shots to be taken on Jordan,” he said. “We need to be tougher in front of Jordan. This will be a big test against UMass’s outstanding attack unit this weekend.”