By Matt Noonan (@MattNoonan11)
It was an exciting finish last night in New London, Connecticut as the Coast Guard Academy men’s lacrosse team stunned the second-ranked Wesleyan University Cardinals in overtime by a score of 10-9.
The win was the Bears’ third-straight of the 2018 season. Prior to defeating the Cardinals, CGA topped Eastern Connecticut (15-7) and Norwich University (17-1).
“The guys are pumped,” Coast Guard Academy coach Ray Le Forte said one day after his team’s exciting win. “(And) so is the campus, too.”
Coast Guard led Wesleyan, 9-8, with 5:24 remaining in the final session, but the Cardinals evened the score (9-9) and forced an extra session, thanks to a man-up goal from Christian Barker.
The Bears would counter 32 seconds into the extra session with Anthony Wyler, who rifled a shot from the top of the zone to secure an exciting and impressive one-goal victory.
Wyler concluded the contest with three goals and one assist, while Riley McNulty chipped in four goals and one assist. The game-winning goal was set-up by Matty Johnson, who concluded last night’s contest with one goal and one assist.
Courtesy of Coast Guard Academy Athletics, here is the game-winning goal, which has been a must-see on social media today!
The game winner in @CGA_MLAX upset win tonight over No. 2/1 Wesleyan. Anthony Wyler sends the fans home smiling. Hudson Dunaway on the call. #gocgabears @USILA_Lax @DIII_Lacrosse @NoontimeSports @LaxPower_Com pic.twitter.com/T837bEUox4
— CGA Bears (@CoastGuardBears) March 7, 2018
Tuesday’s win is certainly impressive one for a fourth-year program that has grown tremendously since its initial collegiate season in 2015.
Coast Guard Academy is coming off a 10-6 win season from a year ago, which saw the Bears win a program-best four New England Women’s and Men’s Athletic Conference (NEWMAC) games.
The Bears will look to continue its early season momentum on Saturday, March 10 when they face Goucher College at 1 p.m. A few days later, the Bears will take on Ithaca College on Tuesday, March 13th at 1 p.m. with the contest taking place in Virginia Beach.
The Bears will begin conference play later this month when they host Clark University on Saturday, March 31 at 1 p.m.
And one team the Bears will see later this season is Emerson College, which is also off to an impressive 3-0 start.
The Lions began their 2018 campaign with an impressive and hard-fought 13-12 win over Mount Ida College in double-overtime before defeating Lyndon State (7-4) and Albertus Magnus (10-9).
Emerson was initially scheduled to compete against Nichols College tomorrow (Thursday, March 8th), but due to this week’s nor-easter, the game has been postponed.
The Lions will return to action next Tuesday (Mar. 13th) when they host Thomas College at 6 p.m.
“We’re definitely starting to get there,” said Emerson coach Matt Colombini. “We have a lot of young talent and the returners that have been through it for a year now and know what we’re really expecting (of this program) and what being a college lacrosse player is, and they have turned the corner with that stuff.”
Colombini seems quite content about his team’s early season success, but knows his squad must keep the focus on playing a complete 60 minutes.
“I am excited to see in a couple weeks as we keep (working toward our goal of playing a complete game) where we end up and what our final product really looks like,” he said.
So far, Emerson has received some solid contributions from Jared Brush (13 goals, three assists) and Cameron Radenberg (two goals, nine assists). Additionally, a pair of first-years, Joe Meyers and Stevie Powers, have also contributed on the offensive end – the duo has combined for 12 points on seven goals and five assists, while Bailey Kennedy has also performed quite well between the pipes with 24 saves.
Following the team’s contest against Thomas, Emerson will face some challenging non-conference foes in Dean College, Wentworth and UMass-Dartmouth. All three games – and yes, four, counting Thomas – will be good tests for the Lions, who hope to keep their early season momentum going later this spring.
“I think this year we have made the schedule much more challenging to get ready for NEWMAC games,” said Colombini. “The teams we have played (thus far) have been pretty good, but they have all been close, grind-it-out type of games, so at least we are finding a way to win right now, which is good.”
The team’s initial win over Mount Ida was certainly impressive – perhaps it could be a game these Lions will look back on as motivation for more success later this season.