By Nick Forbes Assistant Sports Editor
The Susquehanna men’s lacrosse team picked up their third win in a row to start their season after defeating King’s 13-7 on Feb. 25.
The 13-point scoring output was part of an overall balanced attack for the River Hawks.
Six players contributed two goals each for Susquehanna: senior attacker Chet McLaughlin, junior attackers Andrew Porzio and Alex Tzaneteas, sophomores attacker Jack Donnelly and midfielder Jake Smolokoff and freshman attacker Preston Ouellette.
Against an offensively-minded King’s team, it was important for Susquehanna to get out to a hot start and establish their presence early.
Donnelly, Smolokoff and Tzaneteas led the charge, each scoring their first goals of the game within the first five minutes, giving the River Hawks a healthy 3-0 lead.
One minute later, King’s scored its first goal of the game and finished out the quarter by shutting out Susquehanna, and adding a second goal at the 5:17 mark.
The second quarter looked much like the first, with Ouellette getting things started, netting both of his goals within a 45-second span.
Sophomore midfielder Erik Lanyi accounted for his single goal of the game midway through the second quarter.
Once again, King’s rallied for two goals to end the quarter, taking them to half trailing by a score of 6-4.
Maintaining the steady offensive production in the second half was eventually enough to carry the River Hawks to victory. Right out of the gates, Tzaneteas scored his second goal of the game 33 seconds into the third quarter.
After another King’s goal, Porzio and Smolokoff answered right back for Susquehanna with their first and second goals of the game respectively.
Susquehanna closed the game out strong, outscoring King’s 4-2 in the final quarter, with McLaughlin providing the icing on the cake in the form of back-to-back goals in the last seven minutes of the game. McLaughlin also finished the game with a team-leading two assists.
Sophomore goalkeeper Dylan Abplanalp continued his stellar campaign, saving 13 of the 20 shots he faced.
Susquehanna could not find the same success when they took on Franklin & Marshall on March 1, losing their first game of the year 14-8.
From the beginning, the River Hawks faced an uphill battle. The Diplomats scored in the first 15 seconds of the game and built on the hot start throughout the first quarter.
While Franklin & Marshall rattled off three more points before the end of the first quarter, Susquehanna could not muster a goal in the period.
The offensive struggles carried over into the second before Ouellette broke the silence for the River Hawks.
Susquehanna added two more goals in the second, including the first of four goals from McLaughlin, who led the team in that category.
Nevertheless, Susquehanna was still outscored 4-3 in the quarter and faced an 8-3 deficit at halftime.
Franklin & Marshall poured it on even more in the second half, starting with outscoring Susquehanna 5-2 in the third.
Susquehanna held the Diplomats to one goal in the fourth while rallying for three goals, but it was not enough to cut into the early advantage the Diplomats had established.
McLaughlin had two of the goals in the fourth, and senior midfielder James Harabedian accounted for the other.
Porzio had two goals in the contest as well, and Smolokoff and Tzaneteas led the team with two assists apiece.
Abplanalp was under fire all night, but still managed to come away with 16 saves against Franklin & Marshall’s 30-shot performance.
Abplanalp was pulled in the final seven minutes of the game in order to get freshman Jonathan Pierce some in-game experience. Pierce finished with one save.
The loss ruined Susquehanna’s perfect start to the season, dropping them to 3-1.
The loss also ruined Susquehanna’s eight-game regular season winning streak dating back to last season.
The River Hawks have yet to face a conference opponent, and will not do so until the end of March when they take on Elizabethtown on March 25.
Until then, Susquehanna will continue to play out-of-conference opponents.
The next will be another road test March 4 when they travel to Washington & Jefferson for a showdown with the 1-2 Presidents, who have lost back-to-back games.