The UMD Bulldogs Men’s Lacrosse team took down the #2 ranked Dayton Flyers, 9-6, in an early morning matchup on the campus of Grand Valley State on Sunday. Later that day, the Dogs were dealt their first loss of the season to their MCLA DI opponent, the Davenport University Panthers on their campus in Grand Rapids, Mich.
The Bulldogs traveled to an unfamiliar side of the Great Lakes to play a pair of games against top-tier opponents. The Flyers were undefeated going into the weekend with decisive wins over St. Thomas, St. Johns and NDSU. The first game being a #1 vs. #2 matchup against Dayton on the last day of March as the sun rose over Allendale, in western Michigan. The game started at 7 a.m. EST with a temperature of 20°F and high winds, something the Bulldogs felt prepared for given their usual practice start time of 5:45 a.m. back in Duluth.
The game got off to a very slow start, neither team scoring a goal through the first quarter. The Flyers then struck first with a pair of goals in the second quarter. Unfazed by the two-goal deficit at the half, the Bulldogs were ready to fight back. Scott McNamara lit the match in the third quarter that would start a fire for the Bulldogs offense, scoring on a shot through traffic. UMD scored nine goals in the second half while the Flyers scored only four. The Bulldogs defense had their most complete performance yet. They shut down dodges and dictated the pace of play, applying intense pressure on the ride. Goalie Blake Nastrom made a series of stellar saves to keep the Flyers shooters in check.
The Dogs then had a few brief hours to rest before their second game of the day. An inter-division matchup against the MCLA DI Davenport Panthers at their campus in Grand Rapids, Mich. The Bulldogs knew this would be a challenge. The early morning game left many players fatigued and a few key actors out of the game with injuries. The game went back and forth in the first two quarters and at halftime, the score was tied at five. In the second half, the Bulldogs began to look unfamiliar and the scoreboard stood to prove it. The final score was 15-8 Panthers.
The Bulldogs now have a quick turn-around before they play their final two games of the regular season. On Thursday, April 4 at 9:30 p.m. UMD will take on St. John’s at Malosky Stadium on the UMD campus. Less than 48 hours later on Saturday, April 6 at 7 p.m. UMD takes on St. Thomas back at Malosky Stadium. The pair of home games against UMLC rivals are sure to be exciting matchups with guaranteed post-season implications.
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