The wind was howling Saturday afternoon at Forbes Field, conspiring with the McMaster Marauders to blow away McGill’s chance at an undefeated season. Two unanswered overtime goals, including a hat-trick marker for the Marauder’s Matt Morgan, left the Redmen on the wrong side of a 10-8 score.
With the game on the line in overtime, the Redmen looked flat allowing McMaster’s Blair Plewman to stand unchecked at the side of the net and easily blast a top corner shot past goalkeeper P.J. Baisley’s shoulder. The loss dropped McGill back into the middle of the pack, with three games away from home remaining. The Redmen had won five straight games coming into the match-up against the Marauders.
“We played mediocre lacrosse today,” said Head Coach Timothy Murdoch. “I think that, unfortunately, we hadn’t really come across any talented teams until today. We were outplayed.”
Perhaps coincidentally, the Redmen seemed to play strongest with the wind at their backs, storming to a 3-1 lead in the first quarter and out-shooting the Marauders 7-1 in the third quarter. McGill staked an early lead due to strong play from Nick Moreau, who scored the first two goals. However, the Marauders had tied the game at four by halftime.
Victory gone with the windThe Redmen were dominant in the third quarter, making Marauder’s goaltender Will McDermott look like a man in front of a firing squad. In fact, McGill had already taken five shots on net before the Marauders managed their only shot of the quarter. McGill’s strong play was highlighted with an amazing individual effort by Moreau, who left the defence choking on his dust before wiring a top corner shot past McDermott from 12 yards out.
McMaster managed to climb back into the game in the fourth quarter, but the Redmen appeared to clinch their sixth straight win after Jacob Safarik fired home his second goal of the game with the man-advantage. But just over one minute later, McMaster’s Matt Morgan stepped out from behind the net and tied the game with only 1:45 left to play. In the extra frames, it was Marauder domination as they out-shot the home team 4-1. The result was inevitable.
Still optimisticAlthough the overtime loss was tough to swallow, there were several bright spots for the Redmen-Safarik notched four points, Moreau registered a hat-trick and Jimmy Daruwalla had a strong two point effort.
“I think, as a team, we have some fundamental things we need to work on,” said Daruwalla. “Our transition, from defence to offence, was weak.”
Midfielders Arthur Phillips and Scott Bailey also had goals in the losing effort, but according to Coach Murdoch, the player of the game was sparingly-used midfielder Donner Carr. Despite being extremely sick, Carr won every face-off he took, in a truly gutsy effort by the freshman from Rhode Island.
The team now heads out on the road to take on Queen’s and Laurier before returning home for a tournament on Thanksgiving weekend. While an undefeated season is no longer in the cards, the Redmen must not let the loss put them down if they hope to compete for the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association championship.