By KEVIN BOILARD
The University of Mary Washington men’s lacrosse team topped State University of New York (SUNY) Plattsburgh, 12-8, on Saturday, March 23, boosting the team’s ranking to 19th in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Division-III coaches’ poll. It is the best national ranking in team history, and the first since 2005, when UMW was ranked as high as 20th.
The Plattsburgh Cardinals arrived in Fredericksburg last weekend as the 17th-ranked squad in the nation and an undefeated challenger from upstate New York. The Eagles played host after falling, 9-4, to No. 8 Washington and Lee University in the middle of the week.
Head coach Kurt Glaeser liked the improvements he saw in his players following the midweek loss.
“We learned something down at W&L,” Glaeser said after the game. “We started doing some things better today. We looked a lot more disciplined on offense today…and we played hard.”
The teams exchanged scoring chances in the first quarter, combining for eight goals as the two units ended the frame locked at four goals apiece. Junior midfielder Joey Marson, an elusive runner and dangerous threat in transition, was pivotal to the Eagles’ early battle, dishing out three assists in the game’s first frame.
“I was feeling good today when I woke up,” Marson said after the game. “I decided that it was a good day to dodge hard. Plattsburgh wasn’t sliding very quickly, so it gave me time to get my hands free and play with confidence.”
Two of Marson’s first quarter assists were to junior attackman John Bohlinger, who finished the game with a hat trick. Fellow junior attackman Billy Kelly also scored a hat trick in Sunday’s action. Bohlinger (21 points) and Kelly (26 points) trail only Luke Dick (30 points), another junior attackman, for the team lead in total points.
In the second quarter, Marson helped build a comfortable lead over the Cardinals, scoring a goal of his own as the Eagles went on a 4-1 run before the half. Kelly scored with 1:23 left in the second quarter, giving UMW an 8-5 lead and excellent momentum at halftime.
While limiting Plattsburgh to only two scores, the Eagles put another four points on the board in the third, extending their lead to 12-7. Marson, who scored earlier in the quarter, tallied the final UMW goal of the afternoon at the 1:35 mark in the third, completing the team’s third hat trick of the game.
Marson, after netting three goals to compliment his three assists, credited the Eagles’ offensive chemistry with his well-rounded performance.
“It felt great, especially since our offense was clicking,” Marson said about his team’s win on Saturday. “That was our problem against Washington and Lee, so it feels good to get our confidence back right before conference play begins.”
Only one goal was scored in the fourth quarter, and it did not affect the outcome of the game. The referees had their hands full in the final frame, as frustration started to set in for the Cardinals, who were reluctant to give up their first loss of the season to a team from a non-hotbed Virginia region.
Both squads were penalized for three infractions in the fourth quarter, slowing the pace of the game to a crawl.
“They’re competitors,” Glaeser said about the visiting Plattsburgh Cardinals. “They’re used to winning, and this was their first loss. Especially since this was a pretty convincing win for us, I’m sure it didn’t sit well for them.”
The Eagles have a week off from games as they begin preparation for play within the Capital Athletic Conference against Wesley on Saturday, March 30.