The `Gate Escape
April 11, 2009
EASTON, Pa. - The Lafayette men's lacrosse team gave defending Patriot League champion Colgate all it could handle and more on a dreary Saturday afternoon at Rappolt Field. The Leopards led at halftime and pulled within one late in the fourth quarter before falling to the Raiders 12-10.
After Colgate, ranked #15 in the latest Nike/Inside Lacrosse poll, took the opening face-off down the field and scored just 19 seconds into the game, Lafayette answered with an unassisted goal from Ryan Hansen.
The two teams exchanged goals for the remainder of the first quarter with Leopard unassisted goals from sophomore Tom Perini (6:31 mark) and Kevin Dunbar with 23 seconds remaining to knot the score at two going into the second frame.
Lafayette (5-6) controlled the opening minutes of the second quarter, started by an unassisted, even-strength goal from senior John Galassi. Eleven seconds later, a face-off win from Cesar Munoz led to Perini's second goal of the game, giving Lafayette a 5-3 advantage with 12:40 left until halftime.
The see-saw contest continued, as Colgate rattled off the next two goals in five minutes, tying the score at five with 7:21 remaining to intermission.
After the Raiders tied the game at six, the Leopards seized the momentum heading into halftime when junior Matt Mersky found Brett Djaha for an even-strength goal with 22 seconds left in the half, giving Lafayette a 7-6 lead heading into intermission.
Colgate jumped out with two goals in the opening eight minutes of the second half, regaining a 9-8 advantage. Again, the Leopards had an answer, this time using Perini's third goal of the afternoon and team-leading 34th goal of the season.
A 3-0 Raider spurt included two even-strength goals and a man-up tally to take an 11-8 lead with 4:11 remaining in the game.
Lafayette continued to battle, as Djaha and Mersky again teamed up for the second time of the day before Mersky notched a goal of his own to pull the Leopards within one (11-10) with 2:05 left.
However, a Colgate goal with 23 seconds remaining sealed the Raider victory and capped off a valiant Lafayette effort.
The Leopards held Patriot League Preseason Offensive Player of the Year Brandon Corp to just one goal midway through the third quarter. Corp managed to add two assists on the afternoon.
Senior goalkeeper Jeff Canfield capped off his stellar four years with 12 saves in his final game at Rappolt Field.
Lafayette outshot Colgate 35-31 and scored on its only man-advantage goal of the afternoon. Both teams committed 13 turnovers.
The Leopards will look to regroup quickly, as they return to action on Tuesday at Army. Face-off is set for 7 p.m. in West Point, N.Y.
GAME NOTES: Prior to the contest, Lafayette honored its nine seniors with a pre-game ceremony. The Leopard Class of 2009 consists of: Canfield, Brian Cronise, Galassi, Sean Halloran, co-captains Alex Heller and Joe Howard, Matt Mozer, Steve Nastro and Ray Shalley.