Losses to Michigan and Hartford, 16-8 and 10-4, respectively, have dropped the men’s lacrosse team to an 0-4 record nearing the quarter mark of the season.
A major theme for the Griffs this year has been finding themselves down early, as the team trailed in their season opener against Hobart by 12 at halftime, and down by seven at the same time against Robert Morris a week later.
That didn’t change while in Ann Arbor, Mich. against the Wolverines February 18, as the Blue and Gold were behind by six goals after the first quarter, and by eight by halftime, 11-3.
The Griffs played a more complete game in the second half, only conceding five goals while scoring five of their own. Senior Mathieu Boissonneault and freshman Nathan Conry both notched hat tricks on the day while junior John McCain and sophomore Mike Penna each added a tally of their own.
The squad then traveled to West Hartford, Conn., last Saturday and played one of their better games of the season.
Penna scored two first half goals and assisted on another while Boissonneault and fellow senior Carter Stefaniak netted the other two.
That would be all the squad scored, however, as a 4-4 halftime tie grew into a 10-4 Hartford victory after the Hawks went on a game-changing 6-0 run in the second half to seal the win.
Freshman Otto Bergmann played his best game as a Griff, as the Detroit, Mich., native collected 24 saves on 49 shots by Hartford, 34 of which were on net. Canisius sent only 16 shots on goal.
“It was our best defensive effort of the season as we got great goaltending from Otto Bergmann in net,” head coach Mark Miyashita said. “Unfortunately, our offense dried up in the second half and didn’t give us a chance to win there in the last 30 minutes of the game. Steps are being taken all over the field but we’ve got to put it all together in one.”
The team will have a week off to prepare for their next game as they travel across the country to face off against a tough Air Force team.
The Falcons already have a signature win under their belt, as they took down Duke University, who is currently ranked No. 13 in the country, in their season opener, so the Griffs will have their hands full.
“Having this weekend off is going to be great, we’re going to be able to get back three or four guys who have been banged up and missed the last couple of games,” Miyashita said.
He also mentioned that having close to a full lineup will be important going into the game.
Through four games, sophomore Jacob Buck leads the team in points with 14, Boissonneault is second with 12, and Penna is third with six points so far on the campaign.
Bergmann has appeared in all four games while starting three of them, and has 64 saves on 174 shots faced. The freshman is also currently ranked second in all of division I in saves per game with 16.
The Griffs travel to the United States Air Force Academy in Colorado to take on the Falcons March 8 with the game slated to start at 2 p.m.