HANOVER, N.H. – Led by five goals from junior Richie Loftus and five assists by senior Wiley Osborne, the Dartmouth men’s lacrosse team earned its first win of the 2017 season with an 11-9 victory over Vermont at Scully-Fahey Field on Tuesday evening. The Big Green are now 1-2 on the season, while the Catamounts dipped to 3-2.
All but one of Loftus’ goals were set up by Osborne, who ended the night with five points. Freshman Harlan Smart had one goal and two assists, sophomore Cameron Nolting had a hat trick, and two other Dartmouth players walked away with a point apiece.
Freshman George Christopher was huge in net, making a career-high 17 saves en route to picking up his first career win.
"The men played hard, fast and tough tonight," head coach Brendan Callahan said. "We have been focused on our finishing, so it was great to see some of that work pay off for us.
"The difference in the game tonight was George in net," Callahan continued. "He came up huge with a few doorstep saves to hold off the late charge from Vermont. We have lots to work on and our focus will be on progress in our execution for this weekend."
Both teams had a few good chances in the opening minutes of the first quarter, but Christopher and Vermont’s goalkeeper Nick Washuta made some tough saves to keep the ball out of the net. It took six minutes for the first goal to be scored – a man-up tally for the Catamounts – but the game started to move quickly after that, as Dartmouth and Vermont went goal for goal, ending the quarter tied at 2-2 following a pair of Loftus goals and two assists for Osborne.
The Big Green outshot the Catamounts, 3-1, in the second, thanks to a pair of goals by Nolting and a third for the Loftus/Osborne duo to give Dartmouth a 5-3 edge heading into the intermission.
Freshman Ben Martin scored his second tally of the season to start the second half (6-3) and, even though Vermont got one back to make it a two-goal game, Smart, junior Jack Korzelius and Loftus got in on the action to make it 10-4 in the Big Green’s favor. The Catamounts got one more to end the quarter and to get within five (10-5).
Vermont came alive in the fourth quarter, outscoring Dartmouth, 3-0, in the early stages to cut the Big Green’s lead to two (10-8), putting newfound pressure on the home team. Nolting completed his hat trick with under two minutes to play to give Dartmouth a comfortable, three-goal lead, which was cut back to two just 15 seconds later (11-9). Christopher made two huge saves in the final minute, playing a big role in Dartmouth’s win.
The Big Green outshot the Catamounts, 45-39, and grabbed 39 ground balls, one more than Vermont.
Dartmouth will spend almost the entirety of March on the road with a trio of non-conference games, starting with a 1 p.m. tilt against Wagner on Saturday, March 4.