BY ZACH BONNER – STAFF WRITER
The Susquehanna men’s lacrosse team opened their spring season this past weekend. With a blowout win versus Lycoming, the Crusaders brought home the victory as they breezed pasted the Warriors with a final score of 13-4.
“The team’s morale was very high going into the first game,” Kade MacGregor, a senior defenseman, said.
“We had a good week of practice leading up to game, and the nice weather got everyone hyped up.”
It was clear that all members of the team contributed to the win against Lycoming. The Crusaders held the Warriors scoreless in both the first and fourth periods of the game.
Seven players contributed to the 13-goal total. Sophomore Alec Tzaneteas led the team with 4 goals of his own. Junior Chet McLaughlin netted two of the Crusaders’ goals as well as three assists. In addition, Susquehanna’s men’s lacrosse team captain Nick Reardon had a goal and a game-high of five assists.
MacGregor racked up three caused turnovers and four ground balls, readily keeping the possession in Susquehanna’s hands.
“Anytime we take the ball away from the opposing team and give it to our offense, we create instant opportunities for our team to score goals,” MacGregor said.
“Against Lycoming, we had more ground balls, which led to more possessions throughout the game.”
Crusader freshman goalkeeper Dylan Abplanalp notched eight saves during the game in his first collegiate lacrosse appearance.
Abplanalp made his teammates proud in helping his fellow Crusaders keep Lycoming’s offense scoreless in two of the four-game periods.
Senior midfielder Jake Calder scored the first goal of the game just over a minute after the start of regulation.
Susquehanna kept their momentum after this goal and ended the first quarter with a 4-0 lead.
The Crusaders held the Warriors to only one goal in the first half, ending with a 5 goal lead, 6-1.
After the half, the Warriors rallied, scoring three goals to the Crusaders’ two, bringing the score to 8-4 heading into the final quarter of regulation.
With this fire in mind, Tzaneteas opened up the final quarter with his fourth goal just under the 13-minute mark at 12:53.
This rekindled a blaze in the Crusaders, and they pulled far ahead of the Warriors to clinch the win.
Four different Susquehanna players scored goals in the final 10 minutes, bringing the Crusaders’ lead and final score of the game to 13-4.
Susquehanna displayed great ball movement throughout the game, showing very little selfishness and excellent communication amongst the team.
Prosper Odilatu, senior midfielder for the Crusaders, took some time to speak about the team’s process and their season goals.
“12 out of the 13 goals we scored were assisted,” he said.
“This shows us that our offense is working the way it should be and that there wasn’t a lot of solo runs to the goal,” Odilatu said.
He continued to say that the current seniors on the team are the only group in recent history to have beaten Lycoming each time they faced them.
They continued that trend and carried the Crusaders to an opening win that speaks to the team’s future success.
The Crusaders took on the Muhlenburg Mules in their first home game on Wednesday, Feb 24.
The Crusaders came away with the win, 12-7 behind another four-point performance by Tzaneteas during Wednesday’s game.
Reardon also contributed with three assists as well as a goal of his own.
Abplanalp tallied another eight saves for the Crusaders in the game.
Susquehanna found themselves trailing 5-2 at the end of the first quarter.
They were quick, however, to answer in the second when Calder netted a goal just 16 seconds into the quarter against the Mules.
At the half, Susquehanna had cut the deficit to one point, and a seven-goal performance in the second half was enough for the Crusaders to move to 2-0 on the season.
Next up for the Crusaders is a home matchup against Kings on Saturday, Feb. 27.