A close, high-scoring match was to be expected on Thursday Sept. 6 as the McGill Redmen (7-1) once again took the field against the Bishop’s Gaiters (3-5). The fourth quarter of the match broke a three-quarter stalemate as the Redmen took the game 14-9 to improve their winning streak to five.
“Fortunately, we came out of a close game with Bishop’s,” Redmen Head Coach Tim Murdoch said. “Bishop’s has a great program [and…] they came out on fire. The game was a coin toss through the third quarter.”
The Gaiters established an early 2-0 lead in the first quarter, though the Redmen were quick to respond, closing the gap to a 4-3 advantage for Bishop’s. However, the Gaiters kept scoring due to a lack of defensive pressure from the Redmen.
“I would like to see a little bit more pressure out of our guys,” Redmen defenceman Bradley Hoffman said. “We’ve got a really talented [defensive] core, so I would like to see them use a bit more of that skill and press out on their attackmen a bit more, but I think we picked it up at the end and we shut them down when we needed to.”
Defensive pains were to be expected, considering that rookies comprise half of this years roster, following last season’s massive outflow of talented seniors.
“There’s definitely a shift in tempo from high school to college lacrosse, and I think we’re going through growing pains,” Redmen midfielder Emile Sassone-Lawless said. “We lost a lot of productive seniors last year and we’re [still] trying to re-establish ourselves.”
Nevertheless, the win was significant for the Redmen—the seniors were particularly happy to defeat rivals Bishop’s one last time at Molson Stadium before graduation.
“It means a lot to beat them for the last time on home turf,” Redmen attacker Spencer Bromley said. “We haven’t lost to them in the four years I’ve been here, so it’s nice to keep a clean slate.”
The next CUFLA game for the Redmen is at home against the Carleton Ravens on Oct. 15 at 5:00 p.m. The last time the two teams played the Ravens forfeited the game.
Quotable: “Everyone’s going to be coming after us [….] It’s gonna be a game circled on their calendar[s].” – Head Coach Tim Murdoch on McGill’s status as a league favourite.
Stat Corner: The game marked the McGill Redmen’s ninth consecutive victory over the Bishop’s Gaiters.
Moment of the Game: Redmen attacker Rhys Burnell broke through the Gaiters’ defence to get a shot off from just left of the crease. The goal led to the offensive push that decided the game in the fourth quarter.