The Jeffs opened with a strong 13-9 win over Keene State on March 14. ” It was our first game and guys were nervous, but we played well in the first half,” said tri-captain goalie Cushing Donelan ’05. “Later in the game we had problems on defense, and we let up some soft goals.”
Led by sophomore attackers Derek Cherney and Chris Hoffman, however, the offense picked up the slack. Cherney contributed four goals and three assists while Hoffman notched a career-high five goals and added an assist. Attacker Kevin Boova ’06 tallied two goals and an assist. Senior attackers Andrew Syfu and Alex Casertano rounded out the scoring with a goal apiece. Syfu, tri-captain midfielder Colby Griffith ’05, and attacker Bryan Hiller ’05 each provided an assist. Donelan had 15 saves in goal to preserve the win.
On March 16, the Jeffs were dominant in a 15-6 rout of Clarkson. “The Clarkson game was a lot better than the Keene State game,” said tri-captain defender Gregory Donohue ’05. “We handled them at both ends of the field.” The Jeffs scored five first-half goals and at one point led 9-0.
Casertano scored four goals and notched an assist, while Cherney found the back of the net twice and delivered four assists. Strengthening the attack with a pair of scores each were Griffith and Boova, while first-year midfielder T.J. Jackson tallied his first collegiate goal. Also scoring for the prolific Jeff offense were Syfu, midfielder Josh Cherney ’05, midfielder Sean Murray ’06 and Hoffmann. Midfielders Ben Lavely ’06 and Will Ferrer ’08 each contributed an assist.
“The defense played extremely well throughout the game. Donohue took out Clarkson’s leading scorer; he registered no points,” said Head Coach Tom Carmean. “Backup goalie Raul Altreche ’06 came in for the last six or seven minutes of the game and made some huge saves.”
The win left the Jeffs with a warm feeling inside. “It was great to see our offense making hard moves to the cage, great passes, and finishing their opportunities,” said Donelan. “The defense also picked it up by working harder and communicating better.”
In addition to playing two games, the Jeffs used the week to train and practice as a team. “I think the Florida trip is a great thing each year,” said Donohue. “It’s a time when the team can really come together. Also, after preseason in the freezing cold, it’s nice to get outside in warm weather.”
“The spring trip was a success, because we have never come back undefeated,” added Donelan. “It showed us glimpses of how good we can be and play. So we are all excited for the season to progress and to keep winning games.”
Even though the Jeffs are ready for the season to heat up, their field is not. Their home opener against Endicott College, originally scheduled for today, has been postponed until April 11 at 4 p.m. The Jeffs will look to improve to 3-0 when they host the Trinity College Bantams on Saturday at 1 p.m. in their NESCAC opener.