By CODY REYNOLDS
The University of Mary Washington men’s lacrosse team had a date with Hampden-Sydney College in their season opener this past Saturday, Feb. 14. The eventful game culminated in a come from behind victory of 14-13.
The Eagles fell behind 3-0 early in the first quarter but were led back by sophomore Mike Marson, who scored the opening goal with 3:15 left in the period. This paved the way for the Eagles to score four unanswered goals leading into the second quarter.
Sophomores Miles Davis and Jack Carver and freshman Owen Dingman all showed composure in the face of adversity, helping the team rally in the second quarter to get the team back in to the game with a score of 7-6 Eagles at the end of the first half.
The Eagles continued excellent play with three goals in the third, as Marson and Bondurant both scored to push the lead to 9-6. The HSC Tigers then reeled off four straight goals to assume the lead at 10-9. With goals scored by both teams at the end of the quarter, the Eagles were down one goal with a quarter to go.
Bondurant and Smith opened the final quarter with goals, giving UMW a 12-11 lead, but Hampden-Sydney answered with their own pair of goals to take a 13-12 lead with less than seven minutes left. It was all UMW from that point on.
Davis tied the game with six minutes on the clock, and senior Greg Smith found the game winner with 21 seconds left on a Chris Garcia assist to give the Eagles the win.
Junior Pete Shammas kept the Eagles alive with a stellar 14 saves as goalkeeper. However, the team struggled from the face-off circle, only winning 13 of the 28 face-offs.
UMW men’s lacrosse Head Coach Kurt Glaeser said he was “extremely impressed with senior Jack Bondurant,” who scored five goals against HSC. Glaeser also gave praise to Smith, who scored the winning come from behind goal with 21 seconds left.
“We could improve upon last year’s nationally ranked eighth place if the team focused on controlling the face offs, being composed while clearing the ball and being extra tough while man down,” said Glaeser.
In order to be more successful than last year’s squad, Glaeser stressed “being mentally and physically tough, to be resilient in pursuit of the ball and unselfish in sharing it, but more than all to execute. All the enthusiasm and hard work means nothing if our players cannot execute and make smart choices.”
UMW was ranked sixth preseason in the Capital Athletic Conference and 17th in the nation.
“I see this as a challenge to do better. The team not only works hard for me but hard for each other, and that’s what will carry us through,” said Glaeser.
With only one game under their belt so far this season, it is difficult for the players and coaches to predict the trajectory of the season, but there are still areas that the Eagles will look to focus on.
“It is too soon to tell where this season will be heading, but if the players execute smart choices then we will surely succeed,” said Glaeser.
The team hosted Randolph-Macon College on Wednesday, Feb. 18, defeating the rival Yellow Jackets 11-7 to begin the season with a 2-0 record. With only a few days rest, the team will be hosting McDaniel College on Saturday, Feb. 21 at noon.