Men’s lacrosse still searching for rhythm — and results

by Alex Swartz / Beacon Correspondent • April 4, 2012

Boyslax tharp
Max Smith locks stick with an Emmanuel midfielder
Max Smith locks stick with an Emmanuel midfielder

Only two minutes into the game, Dan Gold of the Emerson men’s lacrosse team received the ball from Kyle Billings and rushed up the field. Gold took aim and rifled a shot past the visiting Emmanuel goaltender. But less than half a minute later, the Saints came right back with a goal of their own. 

Then they scored six more.

After making nine substitutions and having their deficit balloon to 7-1, the Lions had fallen in an early hole, as they ended the first quarter behind six goals. Emerson was not able to duplicate the fluidity of that first goal, and when the full 60 minutes had passed, the Saints had come away with a commanding a 17-8 win.

Head coach Nathaniel Mayo linked Emerson’s problems toward the beginning of the match to the the team not yet having a set lineup.

“I think we had some trouble early on just kind of getting ourselves situated,” Mayo said in a phone interview.

Emmanuel was able to capitalize on this lack of chemistry—three of the Saints’ first-quarter goals occurred within 30 seconds of an Emerson substitution.

Defender Ben White said that during the first half of play there was not enough talking on the field and certain issues could have been avoided by more talk between players.

“The first half, there wasn’t enough communication on defense,” he said.  

By the end of the first 30 minutes of play, Emerson was down 12-4. Emmanuel successfully put in several rebounds to rack up the score.

Halfway through the game, Emerson changed its lineup. Mayo said he switched the midfielders around, and the transformation allowed the team to gel and perform better the second half.

The Lions became more stable as the game progressed. Emerson was no longer caught off guard on substitutions, and the defense gave up five goals the second quarter, four the third, and only one the fourth. 

Mayo said that the Lions are still in an experimental phase. He said that, since the team is only three games into the season, it is still working on figuring out its strongest lineup.

“We’re still trying to find who works best with who,” the head coach said.

White said that the team has the talent to finish games strongly, but needs to communicate more to have a successful season.

“This is a really talented group of guys, and I think that we can definitely win a bunch of games if we just talk more, and just figure out where everyone’s going,” the defender said.

So far this season, all of the men’s lacrosse team’s games were Great Northeast Athletic Conference matchups, and so far all of them have been losses.

The woes continued as the Lions played Norwich University on the road Wednesday. The defense surrendered 17 goals for the second straight game, and the offense managed only five shots.

The losses leave Emerson with a 0-4 record, tied for last in the GNAC with Daniel Webster College (Nashua, N.H.) .

This Saturday, the Lions take on Saint Joseph’s at Rotch Field.