HAVERFORD, Pa. – The Haverford College men's lacrosse team rallied from an early 5-2 deficit against Muhlenberg on Wednesday night under the lights of Swan Field and eventually carried a 7-6 lead into halftime. However, a 5-1 third quarter advantage for the visiting Mules proved to be the difference in their eventual 13-9 victory.
Muhlenberg got out to its early lead with a 5-2 edge just over a minute into the second quarter. Sean Mowatt-Larssen opened Haverford's scoring as he found the back of the cage to tie the score at one just 1:38 into regulation time. However, the Mules rolled off three straight goals before Ben Frost scored with 2:20 remaining in the opening period to snap that scoreless stretch.
The Mules did score first in the second quarter, but Haverford answered with a 3-0 run of its own. Ben Frost scored just 54 seconds after the Mules took a 5-2 advantage. After setting up Frost, Garret Trucksess made the most of Haverford's first man-up opportunity of the game as Rob McLallen found him with 10:45 to play in the half. Brian Geffroy then knotted the game at five-all with 8:29 to play as Ryan Tetro found him in front of the cage. Trucksess and Geffroy now have eight and six goals, respectively, this season.
James Dalimonte scored one of his five goals on the evening to snap Haverford's momentum swing, but the Fords quickly answered. Just 16 seconds after going down 6-5, Stephen DeLeo's 13th goal of the year on a pass from Trucksess leveled the game. Haverford eventually carried its first lead of the night into the halftime break as DeLeo found Blake Brinster for his fifth goal of the season just 1:09 before the end of the second quarter.
Even with momentum seemingly entrenched on the Haverford sideline, it was the Mules that come out firing in the third quarter as they scored the first three goals of the second half. They would go on to outscore Haverford 5-1 in the quarter as Mowatt-Larssen's second goal of the night provided Haverford's only offense of the period. Mowatt-Larssen also finished with a hat trick as his goal early in the fourth made the score 11-9 before Muhlenberg's PJ Lombara put the game away with the final two goals of the night.
Despite the final score, Haverford finished with a 42-30 advantage in shots but 10 saves from the Mules' Garrett Pope were enough to keep his side ahead. Ironically, Pope made five of his 10 saves during the second quarter when Haverford outscored Muhlenberg by a 5-2 count. That second quarter accounted for much of the shot disparity as the Fords had 17 attempts, compared to just seven for Muhlenberg in the period.
Haverford also picked up more ground balls and caused more turnovers in the final stats. Griffin Brooks and Geffroy each caused a pair of turnovers as the Fords limited the Mules to just 16-of-23 in clear attempts. Zack Cohen also won the majority of the face-offs for the Fords, going 14-for-25 as he took all but one draw at the X. That success helped him scoop a team-high five ground balls on the night. Trucksess and McLallen each finished with four ground balls.
Men's lacrosse will now have to head out on the road for the first time in over a month as the Fords travel to No. 19 Franklin & Marshall this Saturday. The men's game is set for a 12 p.m. opening face-off in Lancaster.