The men’s lacrosse team defeated Washington and Jefferson College 14-5 in Landmark Conference action Saturday in Washington. The Royals improve to 6-4 on the season and 2-0 in conference play. Washington and Jefferson falls to 4-7 overall and 0-3 in the conference.
“It was our first overnight trip, so I was a little worried about us starting out slow, but our older guys got everyone focused and we came out playing hard,” Head Coach Doug Sage said.
After scoring 12 goals total in its last two games, the Royals fired away on offense Saturday, eclipsing that total by two. The 14 goals were a season-high for the team and the most during Sage’s two seasons.
The Royals were up 10-1 at halftime due in large part to an 8-0 run in the second quarter. After a 3-1 advantage at the end of the third quarter, the team was up 13-2 and coasted to the finish in the fourth quarter.
Sage said the team missed the goal a few times early in the game (2-1 score in Scranton’s favor after the first quarter), but improved from there.
“We really connected in the second quarter,” Sage said. “I was excited about us starting to link plays together, which wound up with a few balls in the back of the net for us and a bunch of defensive stops.
Senior attacker Gus Sturm led the Royal’s attack with four goals. Also leading the Royals on offense were senior midfielder John Gregitis, junior attacker Anthony Lombardo, and sophomore midfielder Alec Mikrut, who each had two goals and an assist.
Junior Matt Finor won 16 of 17 face-offs for the Royals and finished with six ground balls. On defense, junior defenseman Ryan Millard led the team with seven ground balls and sophomore goalkeeper Nicholas McKaba finished with eight saves.
Sage said he is optimistic about the team moving forward this season.
“We’re facing off well and our offense is starting to click, so if we continue to improve on the offense I think, overall, we could be a pretty strong team towards the end of April,” Sage said.
For Washington and Jefferson, junior midfielder John Bursch had a team-high two goals and junior attacker Tim Angell had a goal and an assist.
The Royals finished with the advantage in nearly every statistical category. Scranton outshot Washington and Jefferson 48 to 25, won the ground ball battle 37 to 22 and won 17 out of 22 face-offs.
Sage said he was excited to get a conference win and put players in the game who have been practicing hard but have not gotten game experience yet.
“We were able to focus and get a good conference win on the road, and we were able to get some of our younger guys in who haven’t played a lot this year,” Sage said.
The men’s lacrosse team plays Drew University in Landmark Conference play at 1 p.m. Saturday at Fitzpatrick Field.
“Every time we play a game we want to focus on respecting the ball on offense, protecting our goal on defense and always winning the ground ball battle,” Sage said. “Those goals don’t change on game day.”