Capturing a win against Berry College, the men’s lacrosse team had a near perfect first home game Sunday afternoon. Not only did the team play exceptionally well, but the unusually warm weather brought many fans to Piper Stadium to cheer on the Big Red. After a heartbreaking loss to Roanoke on Feb. 25, the Big Red came out strongly and defeated Berry 17-2.
Owen Armstrong ‘19 scored the first goal of the game at 9:26, marking the beginning of a 17-goal streak for the Big Red. Goals by Jamie McCahan ‘17, Nick Bortolani ‘16, Will Donahue ‘17, and Jake Waxter ‘17 quickly followed Armstrong’s goal.
“Berry came out looking strong in their zone, but our offensive scheme was stronger than their defense,” Armstrong said. “We consistently moved the ball well, creating open shots that their zone could not handle.”
During the second quarter, the Big Red continued to dominate the offense, adding seven more points to the board by Donahue, Eric Baumgardner ‘16, James Meager ‘16, Armstrong, Blair Farinholt ‘16, and Chris Haimbaugh ‘19. By the end of the first half, the Big Red secured a strong lead of 13-0.
Goalie Chris Thomas ‘16 spent the first 37 minutes in the cage. Shutting out Berry’s offense, he made a total of six saves.
The Big Red continued to add points to the board, as Chris Haimbaugh ‘19, Armstrong, and Riley Johnson ‘19 all scored one goal each during the third quarter.
The team lost some control of the field during the fourth quarter though when Berry answered junior Alex Paulus’ goal at 12:46 with a goal at 11:47. Denison was unable to respond, and Berry scored the final goal of the game with 4:43 left on the clock.
With a 17-2 win over Berry, the Big Red’s record is now 2-1. The team’s depth was evident in this game as 11 players scored the team’s 17 goals. More, players were assisted in 13 of these 17 goals. Armstrong scored a total of four goals and Bortolani had a total of four assists. Concerning shots on goal, Denison outnumbered Berry 44-22. Likewise, Denison outperformed Berry in ground balls 32-22.
“What our team is doing well this season is simply being a team,” said John Reinhardt ‘16. “Every kid on our roster is working hard in practice and ultimately making us play better and better each game.”
The Big Red will play at home Saturday, March 5 against Sewanee at 1:00 p.m.