The Tech men’s lacrosse team started their season in exciting fashion on the new Roe Stamps Turf Field with a close 8-9 loss to the Boston College Eagles. The No. 10 Eagles and the No. 20 Jackets both played strong defensive games before the scoring opened up a bit in the second half. Tech sophomore goalie Matthew Sommerfeldt put on a fantastic display of skill throughout the game, making 16 overall saves on the night.

“That’s a top 10 team, and I’m very happy with what we did,” said head coach Ken Lovic.

The Jackets started off the game with some high quality scoring opportunities. However, the Eagles quickly took the game over from there and dominated possession for a good portion of the first quarter. They would strike twice with less than three minutes left to take a 0-2 lead going into the second quarter.

Tech would get one of those goals back early in the second quarter. Junior midfielder Trey Gantt began his offensive night with a goal with 11:01 left to cut Boston College’s lead to one. A quick Eagles goal put the Jackets down again. Gantt missed a shot from in close with 5:30 left, but put one home with under three minutes left to take the Jackets into halftime down 2-3. The start of the second half also brought out some of the better lacrosse both teams would play that night. Gantt completed a natural hat trick to get the Jackets to a 3-4 deficit before another Tech goal tied the game with 3:17 left in the third quarter, much to the joy of the large crowd that had gathered to cheer on the Jackets. Their elation was short lived, however, as Boston College would again score twice in the last two minutes to take a 4-6 lead going into the final frame.

Fittingly, the final quarter of the game provided the most entertainment for the fans. Sophomore defenseman David Cyron turned a beautiful individual effort with a spin move to move in one-on-one against the goalie and score to make it a 5-6 game. Two Eagles goals, including an impressive one scored as an Eagles player was falling down, would extend the lead to 5-8 and put the Jackets down three goals with under 10 minutes left. However, Tech would not go quietly into the night. Gantt scored his fourth goal of the game with 7:15 left. Senior midfielder Colin Granger followed with an amazing goal that saw him carry the ball from end-to-end to whittle down the lead to 7-8 with 4:43 left. The Jackets finally tied the game when Gantt scored on a spin move with 3:26 left for his fifth goal of the game.

The final three minutes of the game were highlighted by a flurry of quality chances. A “Yellow Jackets” chant was started by fans during a timeout to help inspire the team. Alas, the Eagles would sneak a shot past Sommerfeldt to put the Eagles up for good. Fans started another chant during the next Tech timeout and a flag with fourteen seconds left gave the Jackets a good look at tying the game. Tech moved the ball around and got it to Gantt for a solid chance, but the Eagles goalie turned it away to end the Jackets’ night with a 8-9 loss.

This was the first game played on the new fields next to the Campus Recreation Center.

When asked about the field Lovic said, “The guys love it. It’s been fantastic. It’s too bad we couldn’t christen it with a win.”

Lovic highlighted the efforts of Cyron, Gantt and Sommerfeldt in the loss. Sommerfeldt in particular had a great night and helped keep the Jackets in it early, while the Eagles possessed the ball for extended periods of time. He made a couple of close saves that got big reactions from the crowd and seemed to spark some of the early offensive output from Tech. And while it was a tough way to start the season, coach Lovic was impressed with his team’s performance.

“We’re a young team. In general, I’m real happy with what the future holds for us,” Lovic said.

Another goal for the team is to get more fan support to cheer the team on.

“The best way to describe [lacrosse] is that it combines basketball, hockey and soccer all together,” Lovic said. “There’s motion, movement, hitting. Typically, it’s higher scoring than today; it was two good defensive efforts today. But in general, it’s a fast paced game which makes it exciting for the fans to get into it.”

The team’s next game is against the University of Alabama on Friday, Feb. 7 at 7 p.m. It is a game that the players are looking forward to as well.

“Next weekend, we’ve got Alabama; it’s our first division game. Look out for that one, that’s going to be a good game,” Gantt said. “We want to keep getting fans out here and getting all the support we can get.”