By KEVIN BOILARD
The Eagles fell to York College of Pennsylvania, 9-8, on Sunday, April 22, bringing their final record to 10-5, one win shy of last year’s total and the school record.
The rainy Sunday afternoon started off well for the Eagles who were coming off a thrilling, one-goal victory over York earlier in the week that granted them the No. 4 seed in the CAC tournament.
The Spartans, after giving up home field advantage to the Eagles only a few days earlier, had to make the three-hour trip through the persistent rain. The long bus ride with the taste of defeat still fresh in their mouths was not a trip the Spartans wanted to make twice.
The Spartans, perhaps still mentally getting off the bus, came out flat. The Eagles took advantage of York’s sluggish start, jumping out to an early 3-0 lead thanks to two goals from junior attackman Paul Tunick.
By the end of the first quarter, the Eagles looked as if they had picked up where they had last left off with the Spartans, building up to a 4-2 lead.
Although the scoring slowed, the Eagles domination continued into the second frame as they led going into halftime by a score of 6-3.
The tides began to turn early in the second half as the momentum shifted in York’s direction and the Eagles compounded their problems with continual fouling.
Junior midfielder Sean Dacey opened the scoring in the second half with an unassisted goal at the 11:40 mark, lifting UMW to a 7-3 lead. Unfortunately for the Eagles, that would be their last offensive production until the 2:29 mark in the fourth quarter.
From there, York’s offense began to click. The Spartans scored six unanswered goals in the second half over a 23-minute-span, including four goals that came on man-up opportunities, three of which were scored by sophomore midfielder Blake Bing.
“They made plays when we fouled,” head coach Kurt Glaeser said after the game. “I think we got a little anxious and we started making mistakes. We couldn’t stop their man-up play.”
With York up, 9-7, late in the game, Dacey was able to produce one final spark for the Eagles with another unassisted goal with just over two minutes to play. The goal was Dacey’s 27th of the season, a category in which he led the team.
The Eagles had multiple scoring opportunities and a man advantage in the final minute of the fourth quarter but ultimately failed to score. With eight seconds left, sophomore attackman John Bohlinger made one last run at the goal from behind the net. In a final attempt to save the Eagles’ season, Bohlinger gained a step on his defender, wrapped around the right side of the crease and sent a shot in the direction of the net, only to watch it sail just over the crossbar.
“I think we may have panicked a bit at the end,” Glaeser said. “We were getting plenty of opportunities, we just weren’t converting on any of them. We just weren’t patient enough.”
In 2011, Glaeser’s Eagles managed to tie the school record for wins with 11. In 2012, the Eagles came one win shy of that achievement but over the past two years, Glaeser and his team have been enjoying the program’s most success since the early 2000s.
“10-5 is a good record,” Glaeser said. “I think last year we snuck up on some teams that didn’t expect us to be any good. This year we came out strong and didn’t surprise anyone; everyone was ready for us.”
With only five starters leaving and the majority of the Eagles’ scoring coming from underclassmen, UMW men’s lacrosse may enjoy this success for seasons to come. Glaeser, however, will be faced with the challenge of replacing those seniors, as four of those leaving are his starting defenders and goalie.