The men's lacrosse team (1-0) started its 2011 campaign Saturday with a statement win. The Bears jumped out to a 5-0 lead in the first quarter and never looked back in a commanding 13-4 victory over Quinnipiac (0-1) at Meister-Kavan Field.
"I'm really pleased with the energy we brought today and the excitement we played this game with," said Head Coach Lars Tiffany '90. "Watching our execution, there are certainly many places where we can be sharper. … But for February lacrosse — the first game, the first part of the season — I'm pleased with the energy level that we brought and the execution that we had in the transition game."
"I thought it was a pretty good team effort," said attacker Parker Brown '12, who scored four goals on the day. "I think it speaks to our defense first. Middies played well on the defensive end and in transition. Overall, I think it was a pretty solid performance."
Parker Brown also assisted on three other scoring plays to give him a seven-point day. And Captain Andrew Feinberg '11 helped spearhead the Bears' attack with four goals of his own.
"It's very nice to see your work pay off," Parker Brown said. "I had a lot of easy goals today. By that, I mean that my teammates made it easy. I was on the doorstep for most of my goals, and it's pretty easy when you're two yards away."
Goalie Matt Chriss '11 was a wall behind the Brown defense. The senior made a number of nifty stops and allowed only three goals while registering 14 saves.
"Somebody could look at the final score and think, ‘Oh, Brown had this game in hand from start to finish,'" Tiffany said. "But we all know it was because Matt Chriss just was not letting anything go in the game. He played like a senior. He played like how well he's practiced."
The Bears were all over the Bobcats from the start. Feinberg opened the scoring with an unassisted goal on a wraparound finish from behind the cage. The senior attacker added another in the first frame, Parker Brown put home two more and David Hawley '11 scored a fifth, giving the Bears a 5-0 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
In the second quarter, midfielder Alex Jones '13 stretched the Bears' lead to 6-0 on an unassisted goal and, after Quinnipiac finally got on the board, Parker Brown scored his third of the day to lead the squad into halftime with a comfortable 7-1 lead.
Both sides traded scores in the third quarter, but the Bears added five more goals in the fourth to put the game out of reach.
Twenty seconds into the final quarter, Parker Brown found attacker George Sherman '13 from behind the cage for a score. After Billy Alessi scored for Quinnipiac, the Bears went up 10-3 on a brilliant captain-to-captain scoring play. Peter Fallon '11 intercepted a clearance pass around midfield before charging downfield into the Bobcats' half and dumping the ball off to a wide-open Feinberg for an easy finish. At the final whistle, the Bears had gotten every player into the game, and the scoreboard read 13-4.
"If you win and everyone gets a chance to play, it's obviously the reward for an athlete," Tiffany said. "The reward is getting the chance to be there on game day and proving to your teammates that all the hard work has resulted in you becoming a better athlete and helping your team get to the next level and win games. It's really rewarding for me as a coach that everyone had an opportunity, and they earned it."
The Bears now have a week to prepare to travel to Amherst, Mass. for what should be a hard-fought game against out-of-conference rival University of Massachusetts at Amherst (3-0).
"We won our first game — our objective has been accomplished," Tiffany said. "We let the guys enjoy it for 24 hours — as coaches we get to enjoy it for about three — and now we face our rival. The UMass-Brown game historically was the top two teams in New England and it was always a battle."
"It's a great first step," Tiffany said referring to the Quinnipiac win. "But we know we've got a lot of work to do to get ready to play a great UMass team."