Lacrosse falls to Connecticut in first round of PCLL playoffs
When the men's lacrosse team made it to the first round of the playoffs, it knew both phases of its game would need to be superb to escape with a victory. While the defense was excellent for most of the game, the offense was inconsistent - as it has been all season - and the team left Connecticut with a first-round exit.
The Bulls (7-7, 1-4 Pioneer Collegiate Lacrosse League) lost in the PCLL Playoffs to Connecticut (7-6, 3-2 PCLL), 6-5, Friday at Tolland High School in Tolland, Conn. The elimination marks the end for the Bulls' season. They returned home upset but proud.
"This is a team that has went through a lot this season," said head coach Ryan Crawford. "They may have lost the last game, but it was an excellent game played. There should be nothing for them to hang their heads about."
The Bulls began the game efficiently, as freshman midfielder Pete Flood scored a goal 53 seconds in. Another Bulls goal followed less than three minutes later from the stick of sophomore midfielder Eric Kolbrenner.
Buffalo led 4-1 at halftime, but things unraveled in the second half.
"[The team] played excellent the entire game, but we just got tired at points [in the second half]," Crawford said. "We were not making our passes and shots and that is what loses games."
In the second, the Bulls allowed three unanswered goals that allowed Connecticut to tie the game in the middle of the third period. With 10 minutes remaining in regulation, freshman midfielder Mike Austin scored a goal for the Bulls to put them up by one.
The Huskies scored with 1:40 remaining in regulation to send the game to overtime. UConn scored the final goal in overtime to advance to the second round.
The Bulls' offense was inconsistent throughout the season and had careless errors late in games that resulted in losses. Against Connecticut, the team made errors in the fourth period that allowed the Huskies to send the game into overtime.
The exit marks the end of seniors Ryan Sans, Anthony Labas, Kyle Maier and Mark McCarthy's careers. Though it is a small list of players leaving compared to the size of the team, Crawford will miss their enthusiasm and leadership.
"Sans was a four-year starter that always wanted the ball," Crawford said. "Players like this had the intensity to win. We are only losing four seniors, but it will lead to a huge change in the locker room."
Sans was the team leader in goals (20) and points (26), while also serving as a team captain.
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