By Jimmy Cassidy
The 2016 spring season began on a positive note for the men’s lacrosse team at the Catholic University of America, as the Cardinals defeated the Marymount University Saints on Wednesday, February 17th. The defending Landmark Conference champions outscored their opponents 13-8 in front of a home crowd at Cardinal Stadium in chilly temperatures.
Nobody told junior attacker Tim Keith that it was opening day. The 2015 team leader in goals picked up right where he left off on Wednesday, as he beat the goalkeeper 6 times in the game. Considering his two assists, Keith was directly involved in as many goals as the entire Marymount team. Both All-Landmark attacker Victor Licata and sophomore transfer from Army West Point, Bennett Bradley, scored 2 goals of their own as well against the Saints. Six different Cardinals found the back of the net to total the 13 goals in the contest. It was enough support for senior goalkeeper Harrison Holak to pick up his first victory of the year.
Sophomore Matt Michalski was asked after the game about his first impressions of the squad.
“My first impression of the team was that I truly believe that we are going to have a team that has the ability to win every game,” Michalski said. “We have much more depth as a team than last year, and almost everyone has the ability to step up and start and help the team succeed.”
The first fifteen minutes of the game were not memorable for Catholic as the visiting Saints jumped out to a 3-0 lead. A goal in the first minute of the game, one around the halfway mark in the quarter, and a third in the final minute of the quarter gave Marymount an encouraging lead to begin the contest. The Cardinals came out in the second quarter and delivered a strong response. CUA scored 5 goals in the next 15 minutes, and allowed just one. Three of those goals came from Keith, as Catholic took the lead and never looked back. The home side outscored its opponent again in the third quarter, 4-1, to take a 9-5 lead. The final quarter was again in the Cardinals’ favor, and Catholic picked up their first victory by a score of 13-8.
Catholic was the more threatening side on offense for a great majority of the contest, as the Cards outshot the Saints 46-22. They also picked up 35 ground balls in comparison to Marymount’s 20. CUA won another important battle in face-offs, 15-9. Michalski led the way in gaining possession, going 12-19 on face-offs. Holak was solid in between the pipes as well. The 2015 Landmark Tournament MVP made 10 saves on 18 shots in the game to get the win for his team.
“It all comes down to the team believing that we have all the tools to succeed,” Michalski added. “I see this desire to win in everyone through their positive attitude and hard work we put in every day at practice.”
The Cardinals will be back in action at home tomorrow, Saturday, February 20th, against Randolph-Macon College at 1 PM.