Sports

Trent scrapes past Redbirds in homecoming lacrosse game

After a two-year hiatus, the McGill men’s lacrosse team returned to the Percival Molson Stadium on Sept. 10.The long-awaited homecoming was marked by cheerful support from team alumnus and former coach Tim Murdoch who retired at the end of the 2019-20 season. The Redbirds, who last played the Trent Excalibur on Oct. 26, 2019, were hopeful to start the 2022-23 CUFLA season with a win. 

Excitement soon turned into tension, however, with Trent catching the Redbirds’ defence off-guard, scoring their first goal just seconds into the first quarter. The Redbirds attack, led by fourth-year attacker Isaiah Cree, soon regrouped and punched a hole through the Trent back line with three goals in the next 10 minutes. The lead could not be sustained by the Redbirds, though, and the Trent attack caught up with two goals in the final minutes of the first quarter, ending at a 3-3 truce.  

The second quarter was nothing short of a roller coaster, with Trent dominating in possession and goals early on, only to be outmatched by the Redbirds in the latter half. Midfielder Louis-Antoine Habre inspired the Redbirds in the quarter through a phenomenal run and pass to first-year attacker Patrick Aber that was stifled by the opponent’s goaltender. A few minutes later, Redbirds forward Cameron McGinnis and midfielder Ethan Forgrave added their names to the scoresheet. A robust defence and organized forward line saw the Redbirds tie the game to 6-6 at the end of the first half.

It was the third quarter where the game slipped away from the Redbirds, with Trent scoring four consecutive goals. Although McGill goaltenders Steven Pelliccione and Joseph Boehm tried their best to save the Redbirds some grace, the Excalibur attack was too formidable to defend.

The Redbirds fought back and displayed a spirited performance in the final quarter. With nine minutes left until the final whistle, the Redbirds scored, giving hope to a tense crowd on home turf. Another goal by the Redbirds in the final two minutes pushed the Excalibur defence to its limit. A time-out requested by coach Nicolas Soubry with a minute and 18 seconds on the clock was too late for redemption, and the final score sat at 10-8, recording a Trent win.

Soubry praised the team for their dedicated performance, and acknowledged the need to work on finer details as they proceed in the 2022-23 season.  

“When we were down 10-6, [the question was] are they going to fight back,” said Soubry in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “Those moments when the team scored the first and second goal, you could see on the bench that they were ready to fight back.The things we need to work on are the details—the substitution, the fast restarts, man up and man down, [and] the last two minutes of the game.”

McGinnis, a fourth-year attacker from Scarborough, Ontario, is excited to lead the Redbirds this CUFLA season and to learn from the game against Trent.

“It’s good to take a loss early on in the season so that we can turn that to a win later on,” said McGinnis. “We are going […] hard in our practices throughout the week, and have a long way to go. One thing we need to work on is coming together as a team and staying consistent with our rate of play.”

The Redbirds’ next game is against the Nipissing Lakers on home turf on Sept. 17 where the team will look to record their first points in the Eastern division of the CUFLA.

Moment of the game: Trailing by four goals at the end of the third quarter, midfielder Rowan Birrell’s two goals in the final 10 minutes of the game inspired the Redbirds to a nail-biting finish.

Quotable: “The boys rallied together in the fourth quarter – we moved the ball well and put it in the back of the net a couple of times, unfortunately we ran out of time.”–Redbird’s forward Cameron McGinnis on the team’s performance in the final quarter.

Stat Corner: Midfielder Dylan James shines for the Redbirds, scoring two goals in the first quarter.

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