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The Dartmouth
February 26, 2024 | Latest Issue
The Dartmouth

Men’s and women’s lacrosse both fall to Tufts

In their first games since the shutdown, the women’s team dropped their contest 11-5, while the men’s team fell 15-9.


Despite the cancellation of Ivy League competition this spring, warmer weather and COVID-19 vaccination progress are allowing for increased practice opportunities.

In their first contests in more than a year, Dartmouth’s men’s and women’s lacrosse returned to Sculley-Fahey Field against Tufts University on Sunday as part of the Big Green’s return to play this past weekend. Both squads fell to the Jumbos in lopsided affairs: the men lost 15-9, while the women fell 11-5.

The women’s team got off to a slow start in their game, falling behind 8-1 by the end of the first half. Nina Nesselbush ’23 scored the lone goal for the Big Green. Dartmouth came out strong in the second, however, but the lead was insurmountable by the end. An early goal by Jenna Donohue ’24 set the tone for the rest of the half. In the last eleven minutes of regulation, Dartmouth scored three goals by Michelle Yu ’21, Veta Mayer ’21, and Victoria Norchi ’24, but the seven-goal deficit was too large to overcome, as they fell 11-5.

Women’s defender Emma Lesko ’21 felt particularly thankful that, as a senior, she was able to compete again in college before her graduation, even though it was not the exact same gameday experience. The team was unable to go into the locker room, but once they stepped on the field, she said it just felt “like any other game.”

“The sideline was absolutely electric,” she said. “...It was so, so fun being out there. It felt like any other year for those 60 minutes. The seniors have been looking forward to this for a while. … We never really knew this was actually going to happen. So we’re so, so lucky it actually did.”

Lesko, too, gave a nod to the future of the program, highlighting the performance of freshman goalie Tamer Luzi ’24, who notched 13 saves for the Big Green. Despite the virtual format, Lesko added that the team has been doing “everything possible” to bond with the younger players over the last year. 

“But being out on the field with them and connecting with them is the best bonding possible,” she said.

Men’s lacrosse head coach Brendan Callahan said that he felt “grateful to the College” to have games on the schedule once again. 

“It was an unbelievable experience,” Callahan said. “...There was so much work that happened behind the scenes to make [the game] happen for both of us … I feel grateful for just getting a chance to be back out there again.”

In their contest, the men’s team got off to a hot start with goals by Ben DiGiovanni ’24 and Spencer Warezak ’22 in the first three minutes. With a goal by Peter Lapina ’24 later in the quarter, Dartmouth held a 3-2 lead at the end of the first. The Jumbos, however, rallied in the second quarter, keeping Dartmouth scoreless through the rest of the first half while tallying six goals. Goalie Daniel Hincks ’22 ended the half with 16 saves, but, by that point, Tufts was already up 8-3. 

In the third, Dartmouth was able to end their scoreless stretch with a goal by Henry Bonnie ’24. Tufts scored four more goals before the end of the quarter, making the score 12-4 entering the fourth quarter. Dartmouth did regain some momentum in the fourth, scoring three quick goals by George Prince ’21, Matt Paul ’21, and Henry Bonnie ’24 to close the gap to 12-7. After the Jumbos scored twice more, freshman goalie Hunter Binney ’24 made a late appearance to close out the game. Nate Davis ’24 added two late tallies for the Big Green, but the team ultimately fell short, losing 15-9. 

Men’s midfielder Kiernan Gunn ’21 emphasized that, given the difficult year without any competition, the team was more excited about just being able to play a game. 

“[Playing] was awesome,” Gunn said. “A lot of seniors came back and were hoping for one last run on Sculley-Fahey. One of our goals today was just to get out there and have some fun. So we were very excited to be able to compete against a different college jersey.”

Gunn also noted that the men’s team demonstrated its depth, with seven different players scoring goals on Sunday.

Looking ahead, men’s lacrosse will be playing tonight at Saint Anselm at 7 p.m. The women’s team has not yet added anything to its docket.

Vikram Strander
Vikram (’24) is a sports writer for The Dartmouth. He is from Albion, Michigan, and plans to major in quantitative social science.