Mount Ida had already taken its first loss in North Atlantic Conference history to Castleton earlier this season, wearing away jerseys in the conference championship for the first time ever. In the first three minutes of the championship game, junior midfielder Jake Rick and senior attack Ryan Bartlett each scored for the Spartans. Jumping out to a 2-0 lead had the crowd filling the campus with roars and cheers. Alumni, parents, administration and students on site were preparing to bear witness to the downfall of the Mustangs. The noise that was building the Spartan momentum was quickly drowned out, though, when Mount Ida began a six-goal scoring run. After the Mustangs scored two goals before halftime and another seven immediately following half, the 18-4 lead held as the Spartans placed second in the NAC again.”It was a tough loss to swallow,” said senior defenseman Jason Jakimer. “Our coaches put it best, though; we went in believing we were going to win. We got caught off guard. They studied us better than we did them.”
Freshman attack Kevin McCarthy agreed that the loss wasn’t expected.
“I had all these images of us beating Ida. On the morning of the game, I felt like the man. I felt really good. But Ida just picked us apart,” he said of the 25-9 loss.
Bartlett and senior attack Phil Barry led Castleton with two goals each. Junior midfielder Kirk Bolduc and McCarthy each scored a goal and assisted on a goal.
Sophomore midfielder Derek Riley and junior midfielder Mike Martinez each scored a goal as well.
Even with the loss to the Mustangs, the Spartans earned a bid into the Eastern College Athletic Conference tournament. Castleton was paired up against New England College. The Spartans were unable to prevail again, finishing their season with a 9-5 loss.
“I wanted my last game to be one where I had fun, but wasn’t pissed off. I just wanted to have fun whether we won or lost,” said Jakimer.
Senior goalie Mike Mamunes shared Jakimer’s sentiments.
“That game was just all about having fun. It was my last game.”
The Spartans were able to finally stamp a NAC loss on Mount Ida’s record, and Castleton hosted its first conference championship. These experiences will help next year, according to sophomore attack Mike DelDotto.
“Personally I had a very bad season, but as a team we had a great season. We finally beat Ida and played a great game against Kean,” he said pointing out the milestones of the season. “It’s all about baby steps; we beat Ida once this year. We’ll do it twice next year.