M. Lax drops season opener

After an emotional off-season marked by the untimely death of head coach Jack Sandler, Colby Men’s Lacrosse looked to start strong in their season opener against Hamilton College at Alfond Stadium this past weekend. Despite stong showings on both offense and defense, the Mules dropped the match 11-10.

The Mules got off to a blistering start, as offensive pressure resulted in three goals inside the first two minutes. Austin Sayre ’17 opened the scoring only 15 seconds in with a quick shot, and was soon followed by a goal from Kevin Seiler ’17, assisted by Tucker Dietrick ’18. These two strikes were then followed by Colby’s third goal of the affair, a well taken shot from Thomas Brewster ’16 to make the score 3-0.

At this point, however, fate began to turn against the Mules as Sayre, a major asset from last season, was taken off for the remainder of the game due to injury, therefore limiting Colby’s offensive options. Despite the setback, the Mules managed to continue strong, with two goals from Colton Michel ’19 to make it 5-0, marking the beginning of an impressive debut match for the freshman.

Despite the five goals scored in the first 12 minutes of play, the excitement of the first quarter was far from over, with another four goals scored before the break. Immediately after Michel’s goal, Hamilton won the face off and took off downfield, outplaying Colby’s defense to score unassisted, his first of the day. Spurred forwards by dominant face-off performances, the Continentals surged ahead, scoring again to make it 5-2. Hamilton’s goal was soon followed by yet another Mules score, as Cillian Connor ’18 found the net, assisted by Michel. Before the quarter was over, however, Hamilton’s decisive face-off play proved key, as the Continentals scored with two seconds left to make it 6-3 in favor of the Mules at the first break.

After a high-flying first quarter, the Mules hoped to continue their offensive dominance in the second, but were roundly stopped by impressive play from Hamilton. The Continentals’ offense then took charge, going on a five goal streak to make it 8-6 in their favor at the half.

As the second half opened, the Mules offense found their feet again, scoring a further three goals against Hamilton’s one. Kevin Seiler ’17 scored first, followed by a strike from Alex Rutan ’16. Michel then closed Colby’s scoring account for the quarter with his third of the day. While the Mules’ offense was strong, the period was also marked by brilliant work from Colby goalkeeper Dylan Rothenberg ’16 who made four outstanding saves against Hamilton’s repeated attacks. The Continentals were able to sneak one through when they scored to make it tied at nine going into the fourth quarter.

After six goal-less minutes in the fourth quarter, the Mules looked set to win as Selier scored his second of the day to set the score at 10-9 for the Mules. Unfortunately, Hamilton’s face-off form returned as their face-off man won yet another draw and powered down the wing to score unassisted. His goal was then followed by another goal to make it 11-10 in the Continental’s favor, a score that remained until the final whistle.

Despite a close home loss, the game was marked with numerous high points for the Mules. After much off-season upheaval, interim-head coach Jon Hunt proved his side could compete at the highest level. In addition, if Michel’s debut performance, with three goals and an assist, is anything to go by, Colby may have found a new offensive star for years to come.

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