Phillylcrosse.com, posted 2/19/16
From Press Release
Juniors Eric Joseph and Jason Sands connected for four of the 12 Leopard goals in a 12-7 win for the Lafayette men’s lacrosse team on Friday afternoon at Fisher Stadium. The win marked the first of the season for the Maroon and White, moving their overall record to 1-1.
“I thought our preparation was fantastic this week,” head coach Jim Rogalski said. “When Wagner went on a run, we just focused on our preparation and kept confidence in ourselves, and I think that’s ultimately what helped us win the game.”
Lafayette jumped out to a 5-2 early advantage midway through the second quarter, but two late Wagner tallies put the game into the locker room with the visitors down just one, 5-4. Billy Battaglia scored the first goal out of the break to tie the game at five, but that seemed to wake up the Leopards, who took over from that point forward.
“We made a couple adjustments on both ends of the field at halftime and, as we were going out, our captains reminded us that our priority this year is to finish games,” Rogalski added. “They scored the first of the second half, but we rattled off five straight and that’s what we mean by finishing.”
Four of those five goals were assisted by Sands, who finished the game with seven helpers, one shy of the Patriot League single-game record. The first two were handed out to Joseph, while the other two were ultimately put in the back of the net by senior Morgan Westby (Episcopal Academy) and freshman Conor Walters, his first collegiate tally.
“I know I get a lot of the credit, but our attacking line’s working their tails off out there,” Sands said. “I’m just happy playing with them and the rest of a great group of guys.”
Following Lafayette’s five-goal spurt over less than four minutes of game action, Wagner never got back within closer than four goals the rest of the way. Sands’ only shot of the game beat Wagner goalie Matt Sefcik with 8:27 to play for the final tally from either side for a 12-7 final
Joseph led the Leopards in scoring with five goals, while junior Kevin Lewis added three and sophomore Will McCarthy, Westby, Sands and Walters rounded out the offensive production with one apiece. Senior Ben Falcone moved his record to 1-1 on the year, making 10 saves on the day.
Shots finished 32-26 in Lafayette’s favor and ground balls also favored the home side at 35-23. Both sides were 2-for-5 on extra-man opportunities, while Wagner held the slight edge in faceoffs, going 11-for-21.
The Leopards have a full week off to prepare for their Patriot League opener next weekend at Loyola. Opening faceoff from Baltimore, Md. is set for 12 p.m.