Late five-goal run puts Statesmen in charge as they snap three-game skid to beat Golden Griffins, 18-11, on Tuesday

VICTOR — Yes, that was a game of lacrosse on Tuesday afternoon for the Hobart Statesmen. But it also was a game of give and take.

First, four straight goals for Hobart. Then, four straight for Canisius. After that, it was four more consecutive goals for Hobart before a three-goal run for Canisus made it a one-goal game late in the third quarter.

At this point, Hobart decided it was time for a different kind of take. And so, it was a five-goal run that put the Statesmen in control for good and the result was they got to take home an 18-11 victory over the Golden Griffins at Pinnacle Athletic Campus in Victor.

The win was welcome respite for a Hobart team that woke up on Tuesday burdened with the weight of a three-game losing streak. What’s more, the Statesmen had scored just six goals in each of those losses, so the eagerness to right the ship was a proper motivator.

“Coach kept pressing us to stick with our gameplan,” said senior attackman/midfielder Max Romm, who scored four goals. “Look for the simple play and move it ahead of us.”

At first, that was easy enough for the Statesmen (3-4), who opened a 4-0 lead with goals from Romm, Mark Darden, Frank Brown and Chris Aslanian in the game’s first 6:27. But the offense stalled and the defense was solved by the Golden Griffins (2-3), who used a four-goal run to knot the score 4-4 early in the second. 

Hobart opened another four-goal lead and took an 8-5 lead into the half and led 9-5 after Darden’s goal at the 11:21 mark of the third. That’s when Canisius found more answers and closed to within 9-8 after Ryan McKee, Jeff Edwards and Connor Kearnan ran off three straight.

But everything that Canisius was doing right disappeared as Hobart rattled off five straight stretching into the fourth for a 14-8 lead.

“It’s a habit and we need to fix it,” said Canisius coach Randy Mearns of his team’s slow starts. “We responded well. We just couldn’t get that lead. We couldn’t get over the hump.”

As for what Hobart coach Greg Raymond saw, it was the aforementioned gameplan that Romm addressed. The Statesmen wanted to rely more on their athleticism to push the pace of the game, something Raymond felt his team abandoned during the three-game slide.

“We played timid and poor lacrosse,” Raymond said of Hobart’s losses to Binghamton, Colgate and Georgetown. “And last week felt like it lasted a month … So today was a gameplan. We wanted perimeter dodging right away and play as fast as possible to take away any hesitation.”

The plan worked in that it got Hobart back on the W side of the ledger. And while that’s a nice place to be, Raymond and his staff are more pleased with how the Statesmen responded to the adversity presented by the recent slump. 

“You can lose a team that doesn’t know how to persevere,” he said. “Thankfully we have good leadership … if we can figure out why we failed then hopefully the best lacrosse is yet to come.” 

Joining Romm with four goals was sophomore midfielder Bryan Hancock while Stanny Gilbertson, Justin Scott, Darden, Brown and Aslanian each scored two. Eric Holden also scored for Hobart, while Jackson Brown made eight saves and J Andrew Spallanzani won 12 of 25 faceoffs. Hobart outshot Canisius 51-27 and had a 38-29 advantage in ground balls. 

Hobart plays next on Saturday with its Northeast Conference opener against Wagner College. Faceoff is scheduled for noon at Boswell Field in Geneva.