Men’s Lax Can’t Overcome Early Deficit at Navy
ANNAPOLIS, Md. – The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team started the second half on Saturday with three of the first five goals, but that spurt came too little too late to dig out of an early 9-1 deficit as the Leopards ultimately fell at Navy by a 15-5 score.
The Mids scored the game’s first five goals over 13 minutes before Alex Mezey found senior co-captain Will McCarthy for the first Lafayette tally at 1:52 in the first to make it 5-1. Four more from the Mids moved the game to the third quarter at 9-1 and the Leopards couldn’t get any momentum over the final two periods, suffering defeat.
Lafayette falls to 2-5 on the season overall and 0-3 in Patriot League play, facing tough tests in Loyola, Army and Navy to start conference action. Navy improves to 3-0 in the league and 4-3 in total.
McCarthy led the Leopards offensively with two goals and two assists, his fourth multi-point game this season. Conor Walters added two goals and an assist, while Bryan Hess was the other goal-scorer with the fifth tally for the Maroon and White.
Junior Jonathan Anastos continued his impressive play between the pipes, making 10 saves, but falling to 2-5 on his campaign. Anastos faced 42 shots on the afternoon and moved his save total to 72 on the season with double-digit saves in six out of seven games this spring.
Another bright spot for the Maroon and White was the continued development of freshman Gabe Smithline at the X. Smithline relieved John Becker in the opening half and won 11-of-15 faceoffs on his afternoon, moving his season numbers to 36-of-59, a 61.0 percent success rate.
Navy led the way in shots, 42-24, and ground balls, 40-24. Lafayette committed 25 turnovers and forced 17 from the home side, while the Leopards went 1-of-4 during extra-man scenarios and gave up 2-of-3 when man-down.
The Leopards go out of conference for their next tilt, making a spring break trip to Cleveland, Ohio for a battle with Cleveland State on Tuesday. Opening faceoff is set for 6 p.m.