Injury-plagued McMahon drops fifth straight

The losing streak has now hit five games for the Brien McMahon boys lacrosse team following a 7-4 setback at Staples on Thursday afternoon.

The injury bug has struck at the wrong time for the Senators, who have gotten limited minutes of late from their three leading scorers on attack, senior Ryan Scott and juniors Zack Bartolo and Andrew D’Antonio. All are battling hamstring injuries, leaving McMahon head coach Mike Epstein with few options on offense.

“It’s like playing a football game without your two running backs and quarterback,” Epstein said after the loss to Staples, in which Bartolo sat out and both Scott and D’Antonio started but did not finish.

After opening the season 8-1, the Senators have fallen to 8-6 (4-5 FCIAC) after a brutal five-game stretch, and no longer appear to be a lock for the conference tournament. The Senators have been outscored 64-22 over that span with losses to perennial powers Darien, Greenwich, Ridgefield, New Canaan and Staples.

Against Staples (7-7, 7-2), the Senators lacked punch on offense early and produced just one goal (Greg Watson with 6:07 left in the first quarter) for the first two-plus quarters. John Takita, Henry Todd and Damien Vega scored in the third quarter to cut Staples’ lead to 5-4, but by then, it was too late.

The Senators were outshot 29-15 and controlled just 23 ground balls, while Staples picked up 43.

With just two games remaining (at Westhill, home St. Joseph) in the regular season, Epstein will surely try to get his stars healthy and hope that his other players can rise to the occasion.

“We’ve just got to work through it and have other guys step up,” Epstein said.