Colby vs. Williams
March 7, 2009
The Game Story:
WATERVILLE, Maine --- Jon Thompson’s first game as the head coach of the Colby College men’s lacrosse team will be one he remembers. Beating the 15th-ranked team in the country and the defending New England Small College Athletic Conference champions is one you do not forget.

Thomspon and the Mules took a 9-7 victory over Williams College in a season-opening game at Bill Alfond Field.

“We never panicked and we competed at a tremendous level for the entire game,” said Thompson, a 2003 graduate of Brown University and a former assistant at his alma mater. “I’m proud of the guys. We’re learning how to be a good lacrosse team right now.”

Colby (1-0 overall, 1-0 NESCAC) came out strong and led 3-1 after the first quarter. The lead could have been higher, but Williams goalie Michael Gerbush (Glen Head, N.Y.) made seven of his 15 saves in the opening period.

“I felt like every big groundball we had two guys on it,” Thompson said. “We were just swarming to the ball.”

Whit McCarthy (Darien, Conn.) scored first for the Mules at 10:35 and Russell Clark (Denver, Colo.) made it 2-0 with 6:49 to play. Williams (0-1, 0-1) fought back and scored just over a minute later on a goal by Matt Cranshaw (Atlanta, Ga.) with 5:32 to go. Caddy Brooks (Darien, Conn.) got the first of his four goals on the day with 2:31 to play in the first quarter.

The Ephs tied the game with back-to-back goals by Kevin Connolly (Simsbury, Conn.) and Michael Acierno (Short Hills, N.J.), but the Mules kept their composure and McCarthy got his second goal with 5:41 to play for a 4-3 lead. After another goal by Cranshaw with 3:44 to play, Colby received goals from Max Weiss (McLean, Va.) and Brooks for a 6-4 lead at intermission.

Without getting a point in the game, Colby’s Craig Bunker (Topsfield, Mass.) may have been one of the biggest factors in the Mules’ win. He won 13 of 18 face-offs in the game and lost just two draws in the opening half.

The teams traded goals in the third quarter, with Williams scoring first on a tally by Sam Hargrove (Wallingford, Pa.). Brooks scored again with 11:56 to play for another two goal lead, but Williams quickly got that back when Bryan Wrapp (Westport, Conn.) tallied with 9:33 to play. Jamie Wallace (Marblehead, Mass.) scored with 7:32 to go in the third to put the Mules back up by two goals heading into the final period.

Williams attacker David Hawley (New Canaan, Conn.) ripped a long shot to get the Colby lead down to 8-7 with 9:51 to play in the contest. No team managed a goal for the next nine minutes as the Mules tried to slow the game down with the lead. After two timeouts in a span of 30 seconds, Brooks broke free from a double team and got the insurance goal the Mules needed with just 40.5 seconds to play.

Alex Farmer (Madison, Conn.) made 14 saves, including nine in the second half, for Colby.

“Alex did a great job of stopping the ball, but I was just as happy with the leadership he showed on our clears,” Thompson said.

Brooks also had an assist to go with his four goals, while McCarthy had two assists with his two scores for Colby.

Cranshaw led the way for Williams with two goals, while Hargrove and Wrapp both had one goal and one assist.

Colby 9, Williams 7

Williams 1#3#2#1----7

Colby 3#3#2#1----9

Goals-Assists: Williams: Matt Cranshaw 2-0, Sam Hargrove 1-1, Bryan Wrapp 1-1, Kevin Connolly 1-0, Michael Acierno 1-0, David Hawley 1-0, Richard Reuter 0-1. Colby: Caddy Brooks 4-1, Whit McCarthy 2-2, Russell Clark 1-0, Max Weiss 1-0, Jamie Wallace 1-0, Todd Boertzel 0-1, Mark Squicciarino 0-1.

Shots: Williams 32, Colby 34. Goalies: Michael Gerbush (Williams, 60:00, 9 GA, 15 saves); Alex Farmer (Colby, 60:00, 7 GA, 14 saves).