Men's Lacrosse

1 NCAA Tournament | 3 Conference Championships

Game Preview: Men's Lacrosse vs. Skidmore

Game Preview: Men's Lacrosse vs. Skidmore

Men's Lacrosse vs. Skidmore
Saturday, February 25—2 p.m.
MacDowell Field—Babson Park, Mass.

Babson and Skidmore will meet for the 15th time on Saturday afternoon in the season opener for both teams. The Beavers are 4-10 all-time against the Thoroughbreds and have dropped two straight in the series on the heels of a three-game winning streak.

Kevin Mulvey scored six goals and Cody Legaza added three goals and three assists to help Skidmore defeat Babson, 16-10, on February 27, 2016, in Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Junior Axel Brown scored four times and senior Connor Flaherty notched two goals and two assists for the Beavers, who gave up a six-goal run and trailed 10-5 at the half. Junior goaltender Chris Baughan finished with 18 saves for the Thoroughbreds.

Spencer Low '16 scored five times and John Harrison '16 added a goal and three assists as Babson cruised past Skidmore, 12-5, in the season opener for both trams on February 22, 2014, in Babson Park. Kyle Barsalou '15 also scored twice for the Beavers, who tallied nine unanswered goals to lead 9-1 at the half. Kevin Mulvey had two goals and one assist, while senior Jack Metzler scored once and added one assist for the Thoroughbreds.

Skidmore (0-0) returns three of its top four scorers and three starters on defense from a team that went 5-11 and finished seventh in the Liberty League last season. Sophomore Eric Megnia (12-19-31) was second on the team in scoring in last spring, while juniors Cody Legaza (18-4-22) and Jack Curry (14-4-18) combined for five man-up goals. Classmate Ryan Warnock won 49 percent of his face-offs and led the Thoroughbreds with 68 ground balls, sophomore Logan Hart caused a team-high 19 turnovers and Baughan made 15 starts and posted an 11.63 goals against average to go along with a .540 save percentage in between the pipes.

Babson (0-0) returns 20 players, including five All-NEWMAC performers, from a team that finished 10-8 and reached its fourth straight conference championship game in 2016. Senior Daniel Madden, classmate Zach Cattaruzza (71 GB, 34 CT) and junior Jack O'Donoghue (96 GB, 31 CT) all garnered all-league honors on defense last spring, while the Beavers return four of their top six scorers, led by Brown (33-10-43). Sophomore Niall Dillon (25-8-33) was selected as the NEWMAC Rookie of the Year, Flaherty (16-10-26) set new career highs in all three scoring categories and junior Austin Fabel (14-12-26) finished second on the squad in assists. Junior Connor Maloney won 46.5 percent of his face-offs last season, while fellow junior Jordan Shapiro posted an 11.68 goals against average and a .479 save percentage in 16 appearances last season.

The Beavers, who dropped just one game in NEWMAC play last season, were picked to finish second in the league's preseason coaches' poll last week. The Green and White are also receiving votes in the NEILA regional poll.

In addition to trying to break a two-game skid against Skidmore, Babson faces a number of early-season challenges on its non-conference schedule. The Beavers host 17th-ranked Bates on Wednesday, will take on seventh-ranked St. Lawrence in Florida on March 19 and will visit No. 14 Rensselaer in their final out-of-conference tilt on April 12.

Cattaruzza, O'Donoghue and junior Erik Patriquin combined to scoop up 17 ground balls while causing seven turnovers in last season's loss at Skidmore.

The Green and White scored at least 10 goals in 12 of 17 games last season and won each of its final eight games when scoring 10 or more.

The Beavers went 6-0 in 2016 when winning more face-offs than their opponents.