Though still very early in the season, it appears that after a few lean years McMaster lacrosse may be back.
After a solid season opener against the Varsity Blues, the team split a pair of games, and is poised to make more noise in the Canadian University Field Lacrosse Association standings.
The Marauders journeyed to hostile Western territory Friday night to face a strong Mustang team.
Though they dropped a 13-2 decision, there were still positives to take from the game. Mark Phillips, who scored a hat trick in the season opener, picked up his fourth goal of the season, while Derrick Hastings picked up his first.
Sunday brought the Laurentian Voyageurs to Alumni Field, and fans in attendance were treated to a great game, where the outcome was not assured until the last seconds had ticked off the clock.
The teams opened the game cautiously, with not much going on until 12 minutes in when Justin Beatty scored to put McMaster ahead 1-0.
The teams would trade goals and some rough stuff to close out the quarter.
The second quarter progressed at a breakneck offensive pace. Though McMaster killed off three penalties, Bob Pollock scored two quick goals to put the Voyageurs ahead.
Brad Gerow would add an insurance marker for Laurentian.
The last five minutes before the half would see three goals, two for the Marauders and one for Laurentian, bringing the score to 5-4 Voyageurs lead.
The Voyageurs got into penalty trouble in the third quarter, as McMaster netted three power play markers by Carter Williams, Kyle Lindsay, and Ryan Adams.
The Voyageurs picked up an even strength and a power play goal of their own, to send the game to the deciding frame in a 7-7 deadlock.
An ill-advised penalty gave McMaster’s Jamie Batten the room he needed to score a go-ahead marker early in the fourth stanza.
Justin Beatty would score an unassisted goal to record the hat trick minutes later, establishing a two-goal cushion for the Marauders.
Keeping with the back and forth nature of the game, Voyageurs’ Clint Lamarsh would deposit a goal behind Maroon goalie Max Yavitt with just under ten minutes to play.
A strong Marauder defense would turn aside all of Laurentian’s subsequent forays into McMaster home territory for a 9-8 final.
Leading the Mac attack was Beatty’s hat trick and Carter Williams with two goals and two assists.
The Marauders benefited from balanced scoring, with six players picking up at least a point on the nine goals.
Lacrosse fans can head to Alumni Field on Sept. 20 to see if the Maroon and Grey can avenge their loss to Western in what is sure to be an unfriendly encounter.
After that, Mac is off to Laurentian on Sept. 21 to prevent the Voyageurs from exacting some vengeance of their own.