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Men’s lacrosse falls to Harvard, 18-8
By Benjamin Dias, QBSN Staff Writer
After a crucial Northeast Conference victory over Mount St. Mary’s on Saturday afternoon, the men’s lacrosse team concluded their non-conference schedule by falling to foe Harvard on Tuesday afternoon, 18-8. The Crimson are now 5-0 all-time against the Bobcats.
While it was the most goals allowed all season for the Bobcats, head coach Eric Fekete knew before the game started that he wanted to keep his players fresh for the remainder of the NEC schedule.
“Going into the game, we talked all week about playing more guys and going deeper into our bench,” Fekete said. “When we got a little deeper into our lineup than usual, things got a little off balance.”
Quinnipiac faces a crucial NEC matchup on Saturday, when they travel down Interstate 95 to play Sacred Heart at 7 p.m.
“Saturday’s game becomes really important for us,” Fekete said. “Our goal all along has been to be one of the top four teams in the NEC and then string two games together in the playoffs. This game [today] has no bearing.”
Fekete made the choice as coach to play more players than he usually does.
“It may have blown up on us a little bit,” Fekete said. “I don’t blame those guys, but again you got to understand the big picture. When you go through the season, what’s the most important thing? The most important game is Sacred Heart.”
Dylan Webster (Brampton, Ontario) totaled three points on two goals and an assist and corralled nine groundballs and went 10-of-18 on face-offs.
Brendan Wilbur (Hingham, Mass.) extended his multi-game goal streak to four consecutive games with two goals. Pat Corcoran (Stratford, Conn.), Nate Nibbelink (Hampstead, Md.), Jake Emms (Victoria, B.C.) and Tom Gilligan (Brookfield, Conn.) each added goals.
Quinnipiac (4-6) built a 3-2 lead over the Crimson after the first quarter but from then on it was all Harvard. Both teams traded a pair of goals, before Webster tied the game at two with 7:31 left in the quarter. With 10 seconds left, Gilligan found the back of the net as he beat Harvard goaltender Harry Krieger top shelf.
Harvard leading scorer Devin Dwyer recorded a game-high six points on two goals and four assists, while Brendan Newman added a hat trick.
The Crimson (5-6) reeled off three consecutive goals in a span of just over two minutes to take a 5-3 lead. Newman scored followed by Andrew White and Gabriel Mendola just 29 seconds apart. After Wilbur’s tally cut the deficit to one, Harvard added consecutive goals from Garrett Campbell and Newman. Quinnipiac closed out the half with a goal from Corcoran to trail 7-5 at halftime.
Two goals were as close as the Bobcats would get, because in the second half the Crimson outscored Quinnipiac, 10 of the next 11 goals, including seven straight goals between the third quarter and the early portion of the fourth frame to put the game out of reach.
Harvard held a 17-6 lead with just over nine minutes left before Emms and Nibbelink each added a goal. Emms scored his third of the season while Nibbelink recorded his first career goal.
Quinnipiac goaltender Gill Conners made seven saves on 26 shots before handing the reigns to sophomore Colin Nesdale. Nesdale made two saves in the final 10 minutes of the game.
Krieger stopped seven shots for the Crimson.
Harvard outshot Quinnipiac 37-33 and held the edge in groundballs, 43-32.
“When you’re down six, seven goals in the fourth quarter there is no need to push the envelope to get somebody hurt or more tired than they need to be,” Fekete said. “I’m fine where we are right now.”