Men’s Lax continues pursuit of CAC title and NCAA berth
By MIKEY BARNES
If you thought the history making was finished after the historic run by the men’s basketball team, you must not be informed about the University of Mary Washington’s men’s lacrosse program. Led by 10 seniors, this year’s team is heading into conference play and has already set a number of program records.
Heading into their first round matchup of the Capital Athletic Conference tournament against Christopher Newport University, the men’s team already surpassed UMW’s previous record of wins in a season with 13, two more than the previous record of 11. At 13-2, the team is already at an all-time program high in national ranking as 13th in the country.
Despite these historic numbers, the men’s team faced some significant obstacles, such as losing three significant players due to injuries, all coincidently enough were ACL injuries.
The Eagles were subject to a time of weakness at the mid-point of the season as they lost two games in the span of two weeks, falling to York College (Pa.) by one goal in double overtime and a loss to Salisbury by three.
The Eagles found their way around these obstacles with a number of key players stepping up to lead the team on a six-game winning streak. Key contributors include freshmen Jack Carver, Mike Marson, Will Gatens, Sean Prin and junior Greg Smith. Behind the veteran Eagles on the team, these five provided more overall team depth with their constant production after the team was plagued with injuries.
Along with these five players that stepped up over of the recent weeks, the men’s team have been led throughout the year by seniors John Bohlinger, Luke Dick, Joey Marson and the man protecting the net Zack DelGrosso.
When asked how the Eagles now plan to continue their run into the conference tournament.
“We need to stay focused and keep up the intensity level, even though finals are next week,” said Carver.
This Eagles team is looking to become the first team in program history to reach the NCAA tournament. If the men are able to get into the NCAA tournament, “It would mean everything to us,” said Carver. “How many people can say they played in the NCAA tournament? I want to be one of those few.”
The Eagles took a large step toward their goal on Wednesday afternoon as they beat CNU in the first round of the CAC tournament at the Battlegrounds, ending the Captains’ season. The Eagles did so in dominant fashion, as they held CNU scoreless in the first half and held a 7-0 lead. The Eagles continued to outscore the Captains in the second half 6-4 on their way to a 13-4 victory. UMW forced 24 CNU turnovers in the game.
UMW will face 2-seed York College (Pa.) in the semifinals of the CAC tournament on Saturday April 26th.