After notching its first victory of the year last week — a 17-2 drubbing of Rivier College — the Emerson men’s lacrosse team looked to carry confidence and swagger into its matchup with Norwich University Saturday.
But just minutes before the Lions took the field for pregame warm-ups, influenza struck the team, and Emerson found itself on the other side of a 15 goal result.
Senior Joshua Anderson was scratched from the lineup due to what Coach Nathaniel Mayo described as flu-like symptoms. Mayo said the loss would be big, as Anderson is one of the team’s key components on the attack.
But it wasn’t over for the Lions. Just a few ticks into the game, Tyler Hastings joined Anderson on the bench with similar discomforts.
“It’s tough, our guys are in bad shape right now,” Mayo said. “We’re beaten up. We had to cancel practice for tomorrow. We need everyone to get healthy and get back.”
By the end of the game, the Lions had just 11 players able to compete on their roster, leaving them with zero bench players. Norwich capitalized on the lack of depth, scoring eight goals in the first period and coming away with a 17-2 victory.
Freshman Max Smith left in the fourth period with an injured hip. Smith is Emerson’s second leading goal scorer with 18 points and number one option on face-offs.
“It’s fine,” Smith said of his hip. “With our injuries, everyone has to be ready if we are seriously expected to field a team.”
Along with Norwich’s dominating offensive output came a strong defensive presence that held the Lions to just two goals, both coming in the fourth quarter. Junior Dan Gold broke the scoreless streak for the Lions with 8:40 remaining in the game, scoring one of this two goals on the day.
“We were pinned down,” Gold said of his team. “There was heavy artillery fire on all sides, a lot of men down.”
Mayo praised the Cadets for their play.
“Norwich has been getting better each week,” Mayo said of Norwich. “They were the best team conditioning-wise we have played. They have the numbers; they wear teams down. You can’t get behind a team like that.”
Saturday’s loss brings the Lions to 1-4 in the GNAC, and 1-10 overall.
Gabe Souza, Beacon staff, contributed to this report.