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Men’s Lacrosse Finishes 2019 Season With Narrow Loss to No. 5 Wesleyan

PJ Kelleher

NEW LONDON, Conn. – Ronan Jacoby scored four goals, including an insurance marker down the stretch, as No. 5 Wesleyan survived a late scare to defeat the Connecticut College men's lacrosse team by a 13-12 score on Wednesday evening at Silfen Field.

Trailing 12-11, Connecticut College gained possession with 1:20 remaining and called a timeout after successfully clearing the ball to give themselves an opportunity to take one last shot to force overtime. With the shot clock and game clock matched up with 67 seconds remaining, Maxx Trotsky (Marblehead, Mass.) had the ball on the right and attempted to drive inside a pair of Wesleyan defenders for a good look. But the junior was called for a crease violation with 40.8 seconds remaining, and the turnover would prove to be costly.

With plenty of time to capitalize on the other end, the Cardinals successfully cleared the ball and found an open Jacoby in transition. The sophomore beat one Camel defender and then fired the ball home past junior netminder Colin Smith (Mount Kisco, N.Y.), giving the visitors a two-goal lead with 31.1 seconds left.

Despite failing to score and tie the game on two straight possessions, Connecticut College did not give up and were quickly able to slice the lead in half again. Sophomore Toby Almeida (Cumberland, R.I.) won the ensuing faceoff, and senior Jordan Foster (Las Vegas, Nev.) fired home an unassisted marker with 19.4 seconds remaining. Almeida gained possession on the next faceoff to give the Camels one last chance, but junior Jack Rutter's (Madison, N.J.) point-blank look from the right side in the final seconds was saved by Otto Bohan. The goalie then ran out of the clock to allow the Cardinals to survive.

Wesleyan built up an early 6-2 lead by scoring five unanswered over a 6:55 span in the second quarter. Zander Kotsen sparked the run by tying the game at 9:50 and then set up Jacoby twice during the stretch. The Camels made an effort to climb back into the game by scoring the next four goals to tie the game at 6-all, but the Cardinals responded with three unanswered to pull ahead again before eventually taking advantage of two penalties by the hosts.

Even though Foster made it 9-8 by finding the back of the net with 10:53 left in the third, the Cardinals maintained their lead by scoring three man-up goals in the quarter. After Colin Uyeki put Wesleyan ahead by two with a man-up marker, an unsportsmanlike penalty by the Camels' faceoff specialist which was unreleasable led to the Cardinals adding two more man-up goals in a span of 31 seconds as the frame was winding down. The Camels would never recover despite having their chances in the end, and eventually settled for the one-goal loss.

Wesleyan (12-2, NESCAC 8-2) was led by Jacoby and Bohan to earn a home game in the upcoming NESCAC Tournament. Jacoby scored a team-leading four goals, including the dagger and eventual game-winning marker in the fourth quarter, while Bohan made 19 saves between the posts. Kotsen finished with a team-high five points on two goals and three assists.

Foster and senior PJ Kelleher (Walpole, Mass.), who were playing in their final game as collegians, paced Connecticut College in the setback. Foster scored five goals and Kelleher added seven assists. Almeida won 20 faceoffs and picked up 16 ground balls, while Smith redirected 10 shots.

Connecticut College (5-10, NESCAC 1-9) graduates eight seniors and is slated to return more than 30 letterwinners next season.