Lions look to playoffs after tough loss to Mariners

The last time the Lions trailed at halftime, they mounted a huge comeback in the second half, only narrowly falling short in the final minutes. Unfortunately, the opposite happened when the Lions found themselves down 7-2 at the halfway mark against Maine Maritime on April 18, as Maritime ran away with the victory in the final quarters, eventually defeating the Lions 13-4.

“They got up on us early, and never looked back,” said freshman goalie Pat Curran. “It was just a sloppy game all around for us. They were without their best player-but you couldn’t tell. They just moved the ball really well on us.”

From the first whistle, Emerson found themselves on the wrong end of a plethora of scoring chances. Maine Maritime cashed in on five early chances, jumping out to a 5-0 lead after one quarter. Meanwhile, Emerson was unable to convert on the chances they had, struggling to move the ball with efficiency.

“I think we were just a little tired,” said senior attack/midfielder Jake Frank. “We just had that bad game against Johnson [State] where we lost by one towards the end, so I think we were still recovering from that game. We just weren’t on our game.”

Emerson had been riding a five-game win streak when it halted abruptly after losing to Johnson State on April 11. Now, fresh off a 22-8 mauling of Mitchell College, the Lions looked to continue their momentum and start a new streak.

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Unfortunately, the Lions came out of the gates cold, and Maine Maritime took it to them.

“They’ve been trying to beat us a couple of years,” said Frank. “Last year we went up there and beat them pretty badly to knock them out of the playoffs and I think this year they just came out hot and we weren’t ready.”

Maine Maritime wasn’t about to let the Lions get a sniff of a comeback either, stomping out any hope for an Emerson rally within the first few minutes of the second half.

“They didn’t let up,” said Curran. “Where Johnson got a little sloppy and let us climb back in, [Maine Maritime] played a full 60 minutes of lacrosse and kept moving the ball on our end. It was just one of those games. They’re a very good team, there’s no doubt about it. We just didn’t play well enough to compete with them.”

With the loss, the Lions’ record now sits at 7-4 overall and 5-3 in the North Atlantic Conference. Having locked up the fifth seed, the Lions will play Johnson State in the first round-a rematch of the game they so nearly came back to win on April 11.

“It’s going to be a good rematch,” said Curran. “We know if we focus we can beat Johnson State. It’s going to be a long bus ride up there, and we don’t want to have to come all the way back knowing our season’s over.”

With a little change to their playing style, Frank is confident that the bus ride won’t be their last of the season.

“I think we’re just going to play a bit more relaxed,” said Frank. “We were forcing it a bit too much in the first, and that’s why some of those shots didn’t go our way. If we just play a bit more relaxed and play our style, I think we’ll be fine. We just have to play our game.”