As the majority of the student body set off to enjoy their spring break endeavors, the University of Mary Washington athletes involved in spring sports remained with their respective teams to compete in their craft. The UMW baseball team, softball squad, men’s and women’s lacrosse teams and men’s and women’s tennis teams partook in battle over the break, with each of the Eagles’ teams enjoying bits of success in the nine-day span.
Men’s Lacrosse: Head coach Kurt Glaeser’s team earned a come-from-behind 6-5 home victory over Christopher Newport University back on March 3, thanks to a late goal by sophomore Joey Marson. Marson found the back of the net with just under six minutes remaining in the contest to help the Eagles eek out a one-goal victory and defend their home turf.
UMW dug themselves an early hole as the Captains scored the first three goals of the match and went on to lead the Eagles 4-2 at halftime. But Mary Washington came out in the second half much stiffer on defense, forcing 14 turnovers and allowing just one goal after intermission. Once they traded goals with CNU to make it 5-3 Captains with 9:15 to go in the third period, the UMW defense held CNU scoreless the rest of the way, while the offense responded with three unanswered goals to help the Eagles notch a tally in the win column. Junior midfielder Sean Dacey led the Eagles with two goals as the men’s lacrosse improved to 4-0 on the season.
Women’s Lacrosse: The No. 16 Lady Eagles traveled to Puerto Rico and notched an 11-9 win over Roanoke College during their stay. Seniors Lauren Callison and Allie Kimmelman led the offensive charge for Mary Washington, as Callison netted a team-high four goals while Kimmelman scored one goal and racked up a game-high four assists in the victory.
UMW won the ground balls battle 27-19, finished +4 in the turnover department and more than doubled the Maroons shot output, 31-15. The Eagles scored first off a goal by senior Catherine Kennedy, but Roanoke responded and took a 4-3 lead into halftime that they quickly stretched to 5-3 at the start of the second half. But head coach Dana Hall’s team answered as their defense buckled down and their offense exploded to score seven unanswered goals to take a 10-5 advantage. The Maroons tacked on some goals late in the game, but never got closer than the two-goal deficit the game ended at.
Baseball: The Eagles’ baseball team competed in five games during spring break, going 2-3 in those contests to drop below .500 at 5-6-1 on the year. UMW split doubleheaders with Frostburg State University (2-1, 3-6) and Stevenson University (4-5, 8-4) and then dropped an 11-10 decision to Stevenson on March 11, just one day after their twin ball set with the Mustangs. The five-game stretch was the first Capital Athletic competition that the Eagles faced this season, and their struggles in those games get UMW off to a shaky 2-3 start in conference play.
The Mary Washington offense was led by sophomore Ben Sisk, who went eight for 16 in the five games, and freshman Connor Wells, who went six for 16 with a pair of walks in that same span. Torey Mancari was the front-line starter of the Eagles pitching staff, as he made a pair of starts and totaled 14 innings pitched while surrendering three earned runs and racking up 12 strikeouts. Mancari notched one victory in his pair of gems, as a bullpen collapse in the last Stevenson game cost him and the Eagles another win.
Softball: Head coach Dee Conway’s team traveled to South Carolina for spring break where they played eight games, going 7-1 in those tilts. The Lady Eagles notched wins over LaRoche College (11-4), Mount Aloysius College (3-0), Gwynedd Mercy College (11-1 and 9-1), Blackburn College (8-3 and 9-1) and Chathan College (8-0), while dropping their lone game in Myrtle Beach to Ursinus College, 6-0.
The strong string of games over the break helped the softball team recover from a precarious 2-6 start to the season and improve to 9-7 on the year. junior Brandee Adams continued her strong season thus far, and she currently leads the team in batting average (.440), hits (11) and runs (6).
Meanwhile, pitcher freshman Hannah Otterman has been the early ace of Conway’s staff, compiling a 2.28 ERA in her 27.2 innings or work and totaling a team-high 25 strikeouts.
Men’s Tennis: The difficult schedule that head coach Todd Helbling has compiled for his team continued over spring break, as his No. 19 Eagles took on two more ranked teams during their trip to California. The men’s tennis team knocked off No. 20 California Lutheran University 5-4 and dropped a 6-3 decision to No. 12 Pomona-Pitzer Colleges during their West Coast swing. The Eagles also dropped their final match while in The Golden State, as the unranked University of Redlands defeated UMW 7-2.
Women’s Tennis: The No. 24 women’s tennis team was also California bound over spring break and the Lady Eagles notched a pair of victories during their stay out west. Mary Washington recorded a 5-4 win over No. 21 ranked University of California-Santa Cruz followed that up with an 8-1 dismantling of Kenyon College. The victories improved UMW to 4-1 on the young season as they now shift their focus to CAC competition that is set to kick off this Friday.