Third-Quarter Run Sends Bucknell Past Men’s Lax
EASTON, Pa. – The Lafayette men’s lacrosse team fell victim to a second-half surge from Bucknell on Saturday afternoon at Fisher Stadium, as the Bison used a six-goal third-quarter run to close out an 11-7 victory.
It was the final home game for the Maroon and White and the last game at Fisher Stadium for the team’s 10-member senior class.
“This is a tough game for me,” head coach Jim Rogalski said. “These seniors are my first class and guys that we’ve brought in, watched them grow and have grown with me. I thought they played their hearts out and I’m so proud of them.”
The Leopards started out strong as Kevin Lewis got them on the board early, using an assist from Jake Korus for the first of his two opening-half tallies. Connar Dehnert and Matt Close each sandwiched a Tommy O’Connor goal from the visitors in the second quarter, and it was Lafayette on top into the break by a 4-2 margin.
Jason Sands’ man-up goal opened the second half to push the Leopards’ lead to five, but three back from the Bison knotted it at 5-5 with 11:26 to play in the third. Close stopped the run to reclaim the lead for the home side at 6-5 two minutes later, but Bucknell answered with the decisive run, reeling off six straight to make it 11-6 with 9:35 remaining in the fourth. Erik Cannon netted just the third goal of his career with 7:57 to play, but that was all the juice in the comeback bid as the buzzer sounded on an 11-7 final.
Sophomore Jonathan Anastos was sensational between the pipes, making a career-high 17 saves in defeat. He faced 44 shots on the afternoon and allowed just 11 goals in his 60 minutes of action.
“He handled things well and was definitely in the game mentally. I thought he did a fantastic job,” Rogalski added. “Defensively as a whole, I thought we executed the game plan for 60 minutes and put ourselves in a position to win the game, but we just came up a little short again.”
The possession battle didn’t help things for the Maroon and White, finishing on the low side of a 17-4 Bucknell edge at the X. Turnovers were even at 13 apiece, while the Bison held the slight advantage in ground balls, 36-31.
Lewis and Close were the multi-goal scorers with two apiece, while Dehnert, Cannon and Sands rounded out the offensive production with one each. Cannon was excellent all over the field for the Leopards, picking up seven ground balls and causing a game-high four turnovers on the defensive end.
With the loss, Lafayette falls out of contention for postseason play and moves to 2-11 overall on the year and 1-6 in Patriot League action. The Leopards close out their season on Friday, traveling to Hamilton, N.Y. for a 7 p.m. meeting with Colgate.