The Colorado College men’s lacrosse team beat Babson College by a final score of 16-13 on Saturday, March 19, the last of four spring break games. Spring break started off with an explosive win, but the Tigers then faced two tough losses before bouncing back against Babson. The win improved the Tigers’ record to 6-3, and dropped Babson’s to 1-4. Junior attacker Austin Davie netted six goals in the contest, including the tiebreaker in the final frame that propelled CC to victory.
Davie got the scoring started early in the first quarter, putting the Tigers on the board 2:44 into the game. Freshman midfielder Tyler Borko, who finished with four goals and three assists, added another tally assisted by senior midfielder Eric Neumeyer. Borko and Neumeyer connected again before the end of the first quarter, this time with Borko assisting on Neumeyer’s goal.
In the second period, Davie found the back of the net twice in the first four minutes, giving the Tigers a 5-2 lead. After surrendering three straight goals to tie the game, CC bounced back with another goal from Davie. Babson took the lead with two tallies in the final minute and looked to end the half with the lead, but Borko evened the score with 12 seconds left in the half.
“We’ve been a little soft in the two games leading up to Babson. We haven’t been hustling, making the hustle plays, and the other teams have, so it was good to get back to working hard,” said Head Coach Sean Woods. “I think the reason why we won the game was because we worked harder than them.”
Freshman midfielder Drew Wiseman scored twice in a back-and-forth third period that started and ended tied. Borko added another goal and provided an assist on a separate goal by sophomore attacker Robbie Stern.
Although Davie was a standout, he noted that a lot of the production came from the younger guys on the team. “Our biggest strength, I believe, is our raw talent,” Davie said. “We have a bunch of great underclassmen that are key contributors.”
CC’s fight against Babson was a tight contest until the fourth quarter. CC pulled away early in the final frame with a tiebreaking goal from Davie. After three more tallies to give the Tigers some breathing room, Davie sealed the deal with another goal with less than a minute and a half to play.
Woods emphasized that the win didn’t just come from players who showed up on the score sheet. He said the team’s success “starts and ends” with senior goaltender Chase Murphy.
“This will be his third time being All-American this year if he continues to have the year that he’s having. He’s always been solid between the pipes, he’s definitely our biggest strength,” said Woods.
Woods also said that freshman midfielder Parker Woo’s improvement on face-offs helped the team tremendously.
“We worked a lot last week with Parker Woo on his face-off technique and overall face-off play,” said Woods. “We’ve worked a lot with our wing play so we saw big improvement on Saturday. I think we won 21 of 33, and it was mainly credited to Parker being really scrappy and really tough there.”
The win comes at a pivotal time for the team. Midway through the season, injuries are beginning to take their toll on veteran players. More and more of the underclassmen are being called upon to step up and fill big shoes.
“I think leadership has been huge,” said Woods. “Even though we’ve had a couple of captains go down with injuries, we’ve got some really strong leadership coming from that senior class that has really helped the younger guys come along quicker than they normally would. The team’s really tight-knit and we credit our leadership as a big factor for that.
Moving forward, the Tigers have their eyes on the NCAA tournament. As an independent team, the Tigers have to get selected into the tournament by a committee. With their current record and the strength of their schedule, Woods said he felt confident that the team could make the tournament for a fourth year in a row.
“I’ve been really proud of the guys,” said Woods. “We’ve had a lot of adversity with the injuries and new faces stepping into the lineup and our team’s really handled that adversity well and that’s a sign of mental toughness.”
Davie feels the same way, seeing regular season success as “great, but ultimately it means nothing to us. We are looking at progressing through the NCAA tournament and the teams we face there are the teams we want to compete with.”
Woods says the real challenge lies in the postseason tournament: “The team’s not okay with just making the tournament anymore. Hopefully we can keep growing and get a good matchup in the first round and do what we haven’t done yet, which is win that game.”
A Friday home game against Colorado Mesa University was canceled due to weather concerns and will not be rescheduled. Next up for the Tigers is a Wednesday, March 30 home game against Williams College.