HOBOKEN, N.J. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team battled Stevens all the way to the final whistle but came out on the wrong side of an 11-8 final on Wednesday night under the lights of Hoboken. The Ducks, a team currently receiving votes in the USILA national poll, jumped in front early with a strong first quarter. Haverford put strong pressure on for the rest of the night and seemed to have Stevens on the ropes during the final period but just could overcome that initial deficit.
Kyle Buseck made his first career start in goal and turned away 15 shots to finish with a 57.7 save percentage under heavy pressure as Stevens racked up a 53-20 advantage in shots. Nevertheless, the Fords kept over half of those attempts off target as Haverford displayed a very efficient attack with eight goals off of just 14 shots on target. Wyatt Feinberg and Sean Mowatt-Larssen each scored twice; however, that was not enough to overcome six goals from Stevens' Ryan Gebhardt.
The home standing Ducks jumped out to a 4-1 edge after the first quarter as Mowatt-Larssen's tally in the opening period came just over five minutes in. Feinberg made the score 4-2 off a pass from Gray Pollock with the opening tally of the second quarter, but Stevens rolled off the next three goals and was leading 7-2 with 9:43 to play in the opening half. That goal prompted a Haverford timeout and the Fords responded by outscoring the Ducks 6-4 the rest of the contest.
Feinberg and Mowatt-Larssen both rattled the back of the cage for the second time during the opening half. Feinberg's second tally came off Griffin Brooks' first assist of the season while Mowatt-Larssen now has eight goals in his first three games this year. Stevens got one of those goals back before the half as the hosts led 8-4 at the break.
Ben Fujinaga began the second half with a goal just 44 seconds into the third quarter, registering his first goal of the season. Nevertheless, the Ducks gave themselves some breathing room with three straight goals in the span of just over six minutes.
Undeterred, the Fords answered with three straight of their own. Haverford had 10 man-up chances on the night, but was only able to capitalize on one as Peter Christians scored his first career goal off of Blake Brinster's second helper this year. Brinster got into the scoring act himself for the first time this season with a goal just 1:24 later to make the score 11-7 after three quarters. Spencer Sapir's first career point came on the assist to Brinster.
With momentum seemingly on Haverford's side heading to the fourth quarter, both defenses ruled the final 15 minutes as four saves from Stevens denied all but one of Haverford's attempts. That lone tally during the fourth quarter came from Jonathan Frost as he scored his second goal of the young season with 55 seconds remaining in regulation to make the score an 11-8 final.
In addition to Buseck's strong showing in goal, Haverford's defense caused 10 turnovers as both Brendan Narko and Pollock came away with three caused turnovers. Pollock also led the team with six ground balls. Nate Ruhl finished the night 8-for-17 at the face-off X.
After playing its first four games over the opening 12 days of the season, men's lacrosse will now have an 11 day break before the Fords return to action at Colorado College during the week of spring break. That contest is slated for Sunday, March 8 and will be a 1 p.m. start in the Mountain Time Zone, a 3 p.m. face-off on the east coast. The Fords will also play Baldwin-Wallace during that trip before returning home against Susquehanna.