By MORGAN THOMPSON
Good news came for the University of Mary Washington men’s lacrosse team Sunday, March 7 when the Eagles landed their first win of the season with a 12-7 victory over Christopher Newport University. After experiencing a slow start to the season, Coach Kurt Glaeser was concerned for the confidence levels both individually and as a team.
“When you’re a young team, you’re going to make mistakes,” Glaeser said following the victory. “I don’t want them to lose confidence in themselves and each other. I don’t want the boys to beat themselves up.”
Junior Brian Meaney scored a pair of goals in the first period to help give UMW an early 3-0 lead after the opening frame. Freshman Johnny Hink and junior Mark Bowler added a goal apiece in the second period to push the Eagles advantage to 5-1 at the midway point of the game.
UMW started fast following the intermission, scoring three goals to further extend their lead to 8-1, and they led 9-3 heading into the final period. The Captains tried to make a late surge in the fourth, scoring four goals in the period, but the Eagles did not concede as they closed out the game with a 12-7 win. UMW outshot CNU 32-21 in the game, led saves 7-6, and had the clears advantage 14-7.
Bowler led the Eagles charge over the Captains by scoring four goals and adding one assist.
“It felt really good to pull out a win,” Bowler said. “We finally started playing to our potential. A nice reward came from hard work and persistence; being a young team, we are growing with experience.”
Meaney contributed an outstanding performance in the win as well. Meaney’s three goals against the Captains further strengthened Coach Glaeser’s assurance in moving Meaney from his previous position as an attacker into the midfield.
“Although there is still room for improvement, Brian’s deceptive quickness and skill could result in All-Conference recognition,” Glaeser said.
“A great week of practice outside and the change in weather has helped us further grow as a team,” Meaney said. “We are taking it one game at a time. Improving our shots and taking advantage of the goal-scoring opportunities given to us is needed for a successful season. I think on any day we can play with anyone.”
Johnny Hink, one of the team’s seventeen freshmen, proved his ability as a field player during his season debut. Hink scored two goals and had one assist from the attack position.
“The win felt good,” Hink said. “It started the momentum we need to move forward successfully.”
“It was nice to see Hink step up and contribute,” Glaeser said. “He’s quick and knows how to break pressure. That’s what we needed and he delivered.”
In addition to Bowler, Meaney and Hink, the Eagles also received contributions from Brian Deal, Evan Weiss, and Harry Snyder to help ensure the victory against CNU, who fell to 2-2 on the season.
“We are definitely showing poise and maturity compared to previous games,” Glaeser said. “We need to take Sunday’s performance and continue to build on it. Twelve goals is average for a good program, and that’s what we want to see on a normal occasion.”
The Eagles moved to 1-3 on the season, and they still have three games until they enter Capital Athletic Conference play. The lacrosse team had a road game yesterday against McDaniel College, but the game did not end in time to have results included in this issue.
“We have confidence now and that’s important,” Glaeser said. “As long as my guys show willingness to learn we will continue to improve. It’s not where you are in the beginning of the season, it’s where you end up at the end and we’re on our way.”