The Prof’s got right to business on March 4, when a long trip to Princeton University meant a trip to frigid, 31 degree temperatures and the team’s first two games of the season. Even with their bodies shivering, the boys came out with a 5-4 victory over Princeton and a whopping 7-1 win over TCNJ.
The sun was shining at the Class of 1952 Stadium, where the university’s D1 team also plays, but it just couldn’t seem to beat the below-freezing temperatures. Luckily, the team got a boost when Matt Gorzynski walked into the stadium with a flag reading “SATURDAYS ARE FOR THE BOYS.” This gave the team the pump it needed to get started with a slow game that gave everybody on the team a glimpse of what to expect this season.
The game began with a face-off with Billy Van Dyke, taking the helm. From here, the game would bounce between Van Dyke and freshman, John Stover. This game immediately showed the improvements that the team has made, as well as the improvements of Princeton since the team faced them last year at the Beltway Bash in Maryland. Back then, the team won 9-3 over the Tigers in the game which also put midfielder, T.J. Murdering, out with an ACL injury. The Prof’s still managed to break through, even when the first five minutes of the first half only carried one goal against the Prof’s. Spirits were unbalanced until junior, Alex Chalef scored the first goal of the game. This is a poignant game considering that Chalet was out for the end-half of the fall season due to an elbow injury. Billy Van Dyke scored within the first half and caused a few faces to light up on the sideline.
Princeton would continue to tie up with the Profs. Brian Mahoney felt the team’s attitude changing with the thermometer.
“I think the temperature was a huge factor on Saturday. In the future, we need to come out hot despite the temperature or weather. This was our first game since the fall, and despite practicing the past month, there was bound to be a few rusty passes and shots,” Mahoney said.”The mentality going in was good, but when we realized it wasn’t going to be a walk in the park, our attitude shifted a bit. I thought we came out of the game with a sense of relief and a great feeling of winning the first game of the season.”
Defensively, the team saw strong work from sophomores, Ian Rattigan, George Sayre, and freshman, Corey Spatz, well as constant energy from senior, Ryan Francisco. Offensively, the team saw what it would expect from juniors Ryan Gallagher, and Matt Gorzynski at attack along with freshman, Mike Soravilla. The Profs eventually carried away a close 5-4 victory over the Tigers.
TCNJ was found to be a relief of a gam for the Profs after getting hot-blooded against Princeton. Some of that hype stayed tuned and turned into pure sideline energy. It wouldn’t be have been the style of the team, especially Ryan Francisco, to watch another team like TCNJ get fired up before a game. It didn’t take long before it took affect.
The fire stirring from Francisco worked its way around, helping the team to put up goals thanks to Gorzynski, Van Dyke, Gallagher, and junior, Donovan Moyer. Van Dyke, Spreen, and John Slover took helm for face-offs. For both games, keeps Mahoney and Derek Hofmann took turns in the first and second halves respectively. Freshman, Dom Carlucci saw time in-goal during the last minutes of the game. Middle freshman, Pat Hall, lent his speed to the midfield, as did senior long-stick middie, Mike Conroy.
“Offense moved their feet off-ball which moved TCNJ’s defense out of position. Our offense also passed the ball with confidence and authority. Our dodges were better and our plays worked nicely,” Mahoney said.
The team carried away an impressive 7-1 win over TCNJ that night and happily sprinted straight for the safety of their warm cars. It was already about 7pm and the boys just wanted to get back home.
Get back home with a flag in one car and a sigh of relief in all of them.