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First-half scouring drought plagues men

The Castleton men’s lacrosse team capped off its non-conference play losing 11-4 against Plymouth State at Spartan Stadium on March 20.The Spartans struggled early on as they entered halftime trailing 7-1. In the first four games this season, Castleton has been outscored 27-6 by opponents in the first half.

Sophomore goaltender Dave DeGhetto said the team’s slow starts are because the team hasn’t found an early rhythm yet. He also said he is happy with the team’s defensive effort.

“Our defense is getting stronger each game. We made some mistakes early on in, but the communication is getting a lot better,” DeGhetto said.

After a third-quarter Korey Counos goal, which was followed by two Panther goals, the Spartans entered the fourth quarter with a 10-2 deficit. Plymouth struck again, but the Spartans gnawed at the lead with goals from seniors Jake Rick and Mike Martinez.

Unfortunately for Castleton, this isn’t the first time the Spartans have lost in this disappointing fashion.

Castleton faced a similar defeat against Vassar College on March 17 when the Spartans lost their first road game 14-4.

The Brewers put Castleton in an 8-0 hole at halftime. Assistant coach Brian Kingsbury said the slow start had little to do with the defense.

“I think it’s more or less losing the ball on the offensive end of the field. We’re winning faceoffs, but our stick skills were horrible today. We had 39 turnovers,” Kingsbury said after the loss to Vassar.

After allowing three goals to begin the second half, the Spartans found openings in the Brewer defense. Sam Bailey came up big with two goals and an assist. Teammates Counos and Craig MacDerment added a goal each.

Even though the Spartans are struggling early on in the games, the team is playing phenomenal lacrosse in the second half. Head coach Dave Wiezalis is happy with the team’s late-game performances, but it’s nothing he wants to settle on.

“I think it shows the promise of where we can be,” Wiezalis said. “We can be a fourth-quarter team, we can be a second-half team, but if we can’t play those first two quarters, we’re going to get ourselves behind.”

Regardless of the early game struggles, Wiezalis expects the kinks to get worked out.

“We need to think about what’s working for our team and what’s not, then cut the fat and play to our strengths.”

Castleton opens up its regular-season conference play at home against Johnson State College on March 27. The Spartans enter the game with a 1-3 overall record.