On Sept. 8, lacrosse fans packed Molson Stadium to watch the McGill Redmen (1-0) face off against the Nipissing Lakers (0-1). Ultimately, McGill came out on top in double overtime, 13-12.
“The [result of the] game was unexpected,” second-year transfer midfielder Cougar Kirby remarked. “Nipissing was never really good in the past, and we just underestimated them, but we came back and fought hard, and we won the game.”
The Redmen spent the first quarter tweaking untested lineups and strategies drafted during the preseason. Despite the constant changes, McGill still managed to lead 3-2 at the end of the quarter.
“The guys are pretty good at adjusting on the spot,” Assistant Coach Nick Soubry said. “If things aren’t going right, we’ve got to fix [them]. We’ve just got to be a bit better mentally, think about what we’re doing, and how we can be a bit more sharp and connect all those passes.”
After working out the kinks in the first quarter, McGill recovered in the second, scoring six more goals before halftime and taking a 9-4 lead into the break.
However, the Redmen’s play became careless in the second half, and the lead quickly slipped away. To further contribute to the Lakers’ comeback attempts, McGill served seven of their ten total penalties in the second half, leaving them a man down often. It took two overtime periods for the Redmen to draw out the one-goal lead they needed to win that day.
“We started to maybe take a few more shots than we should have, and it caused the ball to come to the defensive end,” fourth-year defenceman Paul Rougeau said. “We weren’t playing disciplined enough, and we ended up being [a] man-down most of the game [….] When you’re playing a man down, and there’s an extra guy on the field, it makes it easy for a couple goals to sneak in.”
McGill won its subsequent game against the Queen’s University Gaels with a final score of 10-9 on the following day. The Redmen will next visit the nation’s capital to face the Ottawa Gee-Gees (1-0) and the Carleton Ravens (0-1) on Sept. 15 and 16 respectively.
“We’re now 2-0 but we have a lot of work to do,” Head Coach Tim Murdoch said. “There aren’t very many teams in this league that you can expect to beat these days. You need to come with your ‘A’ game all the time.”
Stat Corner: Seth Obadia, a third-year transfer from NCAA D1 school Lafayette College, wowed the crowd with six points—five goals and an assist—for his McGill debut.
Moment of the Game: Halfway through the fourth quarter, midfielder Cougar Kirby broke down the right side then cut inside to set up a cannon shot into the back of the net.
Quotable: “[Lacrosse] is the fastest game on two feet. Footwork is the core of it all, it’s the number one thing you have to have to play lacrosse.” – Kirby on outmaneuvering the Lakers.