A first quarter scoring explosion propelled the men’s lacrosse team to a 15-11 win against the Nazareth Golden Flyers in the Empire 8 Conference semifinal today in Higgins Stadium.
The Bombers scored seven goals in the first quarter to take an early lead, but the Golden Flyers methodically cut the deficit to two with 12:34 to go in the fourth quarter. Nazareth Head Coach Rob Randall said he believed his team would complete the comeback.
“When it was 13-11 in the fourth I felt we had them on the ropes,” Randall said. “We just didn’t work the ball well enough to get good shots.”
Senior attack Jay Lucas scored two of the Bombers’ seven goals in the first quarter and had four goals in the game. Freshman attack James Manilla recorded six points, while senior attack Colin Clark scored two goals and two assists for Nazareth. Lucas was one of two Bombers to play in the two teams’ previous playoff meeting in 2009. In that game, the Bombers saw their national championship hopes ended by a Golden Flyers squad who defeated them for the fourth straight time in the playoffs.
Lucas said while memories of the 2009 playoff loss lingered, he was thinking about the current team.
“It’s not about getting revenge, but more getting something out of the season,” Lucas said. “The past few years we’ve come up short and the pieces haven’t come together. Hopefully this year the chips fall our way.”
Senior defender Will Kraus, who also played in the 2009 game, said avenging the team’s loss from three years ago was on his mind however.
“We’ve been talking about that all this week coming in to this game, and we did want a little bit of revenge on these guys from freshman year,” Kraus said. “We were playing for a lot of seniors who were left out and should have made the NCAA tournament that year.”
In order to make the NCAA tournament this year, the Bombers will have to beat Stevens Institute of Technology, which shut down St. John Fisher College in the second half of their 11-5 win in Hoboken, N.J. today. The Ducks will host the South Hill squad at 1 p.m. Saturday.
Blue and Gold Head Coach Jeff Long said that the Bombers need to play at maximum intensity to earn the upset.
“We definitely to play a whole 60 minutes,” Long said. “I felt that we gave up a little bit on Saturday, but today we saw guys walk off the field exhausted.”