Things looked good for the Richard Stockton College of New Jersey men’s lacrosse team early Wednesday night, March 20.
The Ospreys held two separate three-goal leads on Albright College in the first quarter of their matchup on Stockton’s campus in Galloway.
The second quarter was a different story, however, as the Lions tied the game twice. They then wiped away the deficit with five goals in the final two minutes of the first half.
Albright pulled away in the second half for a 23-10 win.
“Once they started to put it in the goal, we lost confidence and we can’t let that happen,” Stockton coach Kevin Zulauf said. “We let it get away from us. This is a very good team we lost to.”
Albright improved to 5-1 on the season, with the Lions’ only loss coming to Cortland State, the No. 1 ranked team in the country. Albright since has put together a four-game winning streak, winning by no less than nine goals in any of its games.
Stockton opened the season with back-to-back victories, 8-2 over Arcadia University and 17-9 over Neumann University. The Ospreys (2-4) have dropped four straight.
Stockton’s 33-man roster features just six seniors, one of whom is injured, and six juniors.
“Youth is part of the problem, but we’re deep enough into the season that when we fall behind, we have to respond,” Zulauf said.
Youth didn’t seem to be a problem early, as the Ospreys took a 3-0 lead The Lions pulled to within one goal with two goals from sophomore attacker Phillip Potter. Stockton stretched the lead to 5-2 to end the first quarter.
Albright scored the first three goals of the second quarter, including one from sophomore attacker T.J. Holston to tie the game at 5-5 with six minutes, 41 seconds left in the half.
Stockton freshman midfielder James O’Donnell broke the tie with a goal with 4:10 left in the half, picking up an assist from sophomore forward Eugene Isola.
Less than a minute later, Holston tied the game for the second time at 6-6.
With 2:32 left in the half, Potter sustained an injury and had to be taken off the field. At that point, he led all players with three goals and an assist. Rather than stifle the Lions’ attack, though, Albright poured on the pressure. Sophomore midfielder Mike Southwick broke the tie with a goal with 1:57 left for the 7-6 lead.
Over the last two minutes, Albright outscored Stockton, 5-1, to take an 11-7 halftime lead that they never surrendered.
Holtson finished the game with five goals and four assists. Potter, who returned in the second half, had four goals and an assist. Winning goalie Jordan DiZenzo made 10 saves.
Isola and freshmen attackers Connor DeCicco and Vincent Manasia each had two goals for Stockton. Isola also had an assist.
O’Donnel, junior midfieler Drew Wright, junior defenseman Dan Lamela and sophomore attacker Nick Bologno each had a goal. Bologno also had a pair of assists.
Goalies Kevin Eipel and Anthony Montalbano split time in net, with Eipel making three stops and Montalbano coming up with five saves. Eipel officially took the loss.