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Men’s lax glad to be back home
Sometimes in collegiate athletics, frustration can convert into momentum. Days before an April 12 home meeting with the Harford Hawks, the Quinnipiac men’s lacrosse team endured a grueling Colorado trip.
In the unfriendly confines of the Rocky Mountain state, the Bobcats saw multiple team members get sick while suffering a pair of hard losses to top-notch opponents, including No. 17 ranked University of Denver.
The Bobcats returned to their home field with energy last Wednesday as they defeated the University of Hartford, 14-9.
Quinnipiac’s energy showed during the opening minutes of the first quarter and extended throughout the first half as it played with the same vitality as a group of Red Bull aficionados.
The Bobcats thoroughly walloped their former America East foes by a 12-2 count in the first half. They whipped shots past goaltender Garret Allwes while playing a physical brand of defense on the other end. The win improves them to 6-4 overall and secures in-state bragging rights for the Bobcats, who won 13-7 at Hartford in America East action last season.
The final score doesn’t portray the flow of the game. The Bobcats dominated the Hawks early, but became complacent in the second half and due to a few defensive lapses eventually let up a 5-0 spurt in the final period.
“We certainly could have probably played better to the four quarters,” Quinnipiac head coach Eric Fekete said. “The first half was great, second half was a little sloppy. When you’re up 12-2 at halftime it’s hard to keep your edge and I think we just lost it a little bit.”
The hole was too big to crawl out of for Hartford, which suffered its ninth straight loss.
The Bobcats are now 4-1 when outscoring teams in the first half. They improve to 6-1 at the new home turf field, which has helped alter the perception of the resurrected program. Their lone home loss was to perennial powerhouse Ohio State back on March 18.
“It was a tough (past) weekend in Colorado for us,” Fekete said. “We were certainly happy to come back and play at home again.”
Senior standout Josh Murray led the way for the Bobcats, scoring four goals and handing out two assists. Quinnipiac led by three just four minutes into the contest after Eric Trama connected on a goal off a feed from Murray.
The hard-shooting Murray whiplashed one from 18 feet out with 10:09 left in the first, and Chris Griffin’s shot found the back of the net with 6:27 to play as the ‘Cats got off to a 5-0 lead they would never lose hold of.
Hartford’s Josh Wasson-McQuigge answered at 3:37 of the first with an unassisted goal on Quinnipiac goalie James Nastro, who stopped four shots to earn an easy win.
Eddie Morley and Josh Murray gave the early lead a cushion with a pair of goals. Jimmy Montana muscled his way through a pole, fending off two pesky defenders for a pretty looking shot from the right side that gave the Bobcats an 8-1 advantage with 11:30 to go in the second.
Quinnipiac kept firing, building a 12-1 lead before McQuigge tallied another goal on a look from Brian Tilley with six minutes left in the period.
Trama knifed through defenders and hit the cage for his second goal at the start of the third quarter, but the Bobcats could only muster one more goal in the half. They were outscored by a 7-2 margin.