“One of the best parts of lacrosse is that it’s a game of runs,” said captain midfielder, Jake Madnick ’20. “You can go up 6–0 on a team, and then all of a sudden, you look up at the scoreboard, and it’s 6–5”.
Winning games, according to Madnick, is about how one reacts to such runs.
Men’s lacrosse hosted Connecticut College on Saturday, March. 7 and defeated their opponents from New London, 20–8. But the final score doesn’t capture the struggle that ensued in the first half and how the Panthers kept their composure despite some successful runs by the Camels.
When the hosts planted a 3–0 lead in the first quarter, Connecticut College cut the lead to two, amplifying their bench. They gained even further momentum by forcing a turnover and saving a mid-range snipe by Middlebury attackman A.J Kucinski ’20. While the Panthers scored with one second remaining in the first, the Camels won the following faceoff, drew two penalties, and eventually buried another goal to set the score, 4–2.
The blue-and-white, however, responded over the course of the second quarter by tallying two unanswered goals. With two minutes left before halftime and the score at 7–3 Panthers, Tyler Forbes ’22 and Danny Jacobs ’20 snuck in some goals of their own before the Camels scored again with 35 seconds left in the period.
But if lacrosse is a game of runs, and any side can instantly gain momentum, such volatility cuts both ways. While it’s possible for the losing team to pick up steam, the winning team could expand its lead in a flash.
“[The third quarter] was one of our best quarters this year,” said Madnick.
The Panthers outscored their Connecticut visitors 7–2 that period and would tack on an additional four in the fourth. Attackman Michael McCormick ’20 tallied four goals throughout the game. Forbes earned three.
“[McCormick’s] got a left-handed shot that I don’t think any goalie in the country at any division could save,” said Madnick. “He was firing on all cylinders against [Connecticut College]”.
William Ryan ’23 and Will Zink ’23 would earn their first collegiate scores in the game as well. Backup goalie Finn O’Connor ’23 also saw some action.
“It was really cool to see some of the younger guys get in the game and get some experience,” said Madnick.
Such experience may prove useful in the season ahead.