By ANDREW ELLIOTT
The UMW men’s lacrosse team traveled to an away game Saturday to battle CAC conference opponent, York College of Pennsylvania. UMW has not beaten York since the 2007 season and the Eagles had already dropped their first two conference matches to Stevenson and Salisbury (currently the No.1 and No.2 ranked teams in Division III), so the urgency to get a win against the Spartans was even more crucial.
UMW got on the score board first at the 10:56 mark in the first quarter as senior Brian Meaney scored a man-up goal off an assist from fellow senior Brian Deal. York countered with two goals of their own from junior Adam Cooper and senior Ryan McNicholas to close out the opening quarter with a one goal lead.
In the second quarter, UMW junior attacker Mark Bowler began the scoring with two unassisted goals at 12:09 and 9:40, giving the Eagles a brief 3-2 lead. However, York answered with five straight goals to close out the half with a 7-3 advantage. This deficit put UMW in a hole that proved to be too hard for them to climb out of.
The Eagles’ struggles continued into the third quarter, as they were only able to muster a single unassisted goal from Bowler. The Spartans finished the third with three more goals to push their lead to six goals heading into the final quarter.
UMW was able to produce offensively in the fourth and made a push by scoring six goals, another for Bowler and two from junior Evan Weiss. Nonetheless, the comeback attempt came up short as Spartans scored five goals of their own in the fourth quarter to secure the 15-10 York win.
UMW’s inability to stop York’s scoring attack and the Eagles’ offensive drought between the second and third quarters were key reasons for the loss. In these two quarters, the home Spartans outscored the visiting Eagles eight to three.
“The problems we created for ourselves were not isolated to any one aspect of the game,” Head Coach Kurt Glaeser said. “We didn’t clear well, we played terrible defense, didn’t pick up ground balls and we shot poorly.”
Additionally, York was able to capitalize more on extra man opportunities than UMW. York produced four goals on seven extra man chances while UMW scored just two goals on their six man-up opportunities in the game. UMW’s goalie Matt Prin, was able to produce 13 saves in the losing effort compared to York’s Chris Collins who had nine saves in the contest.
Bowler believes that UMW is a talented group, but notes that changes need to be made.
“We get caught up in free lancing [too much],” Bowler said. “To have more balanced scoring we need to be more disciplined.”
After starting the season 0-3, the Eagles rebounded to win four straight and move over .500. However, UMW has been in a slump since the York loss marked the fourth straight loss for the Eagles and dropped the team to 0-3 in CAC play and 4-7 overall.
UMW traveled to Frederick, Md. to play another CAC foe, Hood College, but the game finished to late for results to be included in this issue. However, senior Daniel Coats commented before the Eagles’ bout against the Blazers and said that he thinks the team needs to be “going into the game knowing we’re in for a battle.” Coats added that the York loss was a humbling experience and that the team is looking to string together a few wins before for the CAC tournament.