M. Lax can’t sneak by Hamilton

The Colby men’s lacrosse team fell to Hamilton 12-10 on Saturday in a back-and-forth affair. The visiting Mules took a one-goal lead at Steuben Field in the second quarter, only to concede five unanswered goals to make it 9-5 before halftime. They fought back to make the score 9-8 early in the fourth quarter but were held off by the Continentals. The loss drops the Mules to 1-1 overall and 1-1 in NESCAC play.

The Mules outshot their hosts 49-30, with tri-captain John Grimaldi ’15 leading the way by notching three goals and an assist. It would have been a very different game if not for the stellar play of Hamilton goalie Will Driscoll, who saved 20 shots, including 13 in the first half. Colby took their first lead of the game thanks to tri-captain and reigning NESCAC Player of the Week Derek Youngman ’15, whose goal midway through the first quarter to made it 2-1. Yet Hamilton scored three goals in the last 4:07 of the quarter, including two in the final minute, to take a 4-3 lead.

The Mules came out hot in the second quarter with two quick goals by  Austin Sayre ’17 and Tanner Holifield ’18, but Hamilton would tie it up at five just 20 seconds later. Things threatened to unravel late in the quarter for the Mules as a combination of unlucky bounces and unforced errors led to four unanswered Hamilton goals. The Mules committed 8 turnovers and were penalized twice in less than a minute and a half, allowing the Continentals to convert one of the man-up opportunities. Despite losing their lead, the Mules didn’t play poorly, winning five of eight faceoffs and holding a 13-9 shot advantage in the second quarter.

Colby regained their composure after halftime and started the 3rd quarter brightly. Brendan McNeill ’15 and Grimaldi each scored to pull the Mules within two, 9-7. Importantly, Colby’s defense shut out the Continentals’ attack, which shifted the momentum of the game toward the visitors. Alex Rutan ’16 scored his second goal of the game just 1:41 into the fourth quarter to make it 9-8.

The game had all the makings of a great comeback, and it looked as though the Mules would be able to capitalize on their momentum to an unlikely away win. But Hamilton converted another man-up opportunity and slotted home again soon after for a three-goal lead. The Mules never gave in, and Sayre found Grimaldi for his third goal of the game with 10:18 to go. Colby had opportunities to get back into the game with 13 shots to Hamilton’s nine, but were unable to capitalize. Hamilton scored another before Mark Philipps ’15 rifled home the final goal of the game.

The Mules can take some positives from an intense away game against a quality opponent. With seven different goal scorers, shows they boast a variety of offensive weapons, while their advantages in ground balls (40-37) and faceoffs (14-11) demonstrate the team’s toughness. Colby will take on the Maine Maritime Mariners on Wednesday before they return to NESCAC play on Saturday for their first league home game against undefeated Tufts.

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