POTSDAM, N.Y. – Norwich University head coach Neal Anderson had reasons to smile in the face of a 14-2 non-conference loss to Liberty League power Clarkson March 8.
The Cadets, despite dipping to 0-2, kept a perennial NCAA Division III tournament program in check during a well-played first period. NU trailed the host Golden Knights just 1-0 after the opening stanza. From that point, it was a matter of depth and pressure that helped the home side rack up 12 goals in the second and third quarters to put the game out of question.
"I wanted to see us compete tonight, and we did against a very strong program," Anderson said. "These early-season games are serving a purpose for our young team to play against a top-flight level of opponents, making us better for the conference season.
"We came out and had a great opening quarter," he added. "Obviously, their pressure wore us down in the middle of the game, and we also got into some tough man-down situations that led to some goals. I'm glad we got the opportunity to play a program like Clarkson, so our guys can see what we need to do to get to the next step."
NU's youth movement, just as did in the opener against UMass-Dartmouth, continued to impress. Freshman attacker Seth Fuller (Wheaton, Ill.) posted his second goal of the season in the fourth period to tie for the team lead. Newcomer Josh Menge (Hagaman, N.Y.), a junior defender, produced his first goal just 10 seconds before the end of the first half, splitting the Clarkson defense and sending the ball into the net.
The Maroon and Gold resumes its 2012 non-conference slate with a trip to Husson College of Bangor, Me., Sunday, March 18. Faceoff is set for 12 p.m.