By KEVIN BOILARD
The University of Mary Washington men’s lacrosse team’s hopes of knocking off Capital Athletic Conference (CAC) rival Salisbury University started and ended at the 10:54 mark in the first quarter, when junior attackman Luke Dick put the Eagles up 1-0 in the early going.
No. 17 UMW eventually fell to the No. 6 Sea Gulls by a final score of 20-4 last Saturday, April 6. After their most one-sided defeat of the season, the Eagles stand at 7-3 overall, 1-1 in conference play.
The loss also pushed UMW out of the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) top 20 coaches’ poll. After his squad’s second disappointing performance against a top-10 school this season, Head Coach Kurt Glaeser wants to narrow the gap between UMW and the best teams in the nation, specifically the Eagles’ CAC rival.
“We have to keep improving individually because Salisbury just plays at a different level than any of the teams we’ve played recently,” Glaeser said. “Mostly, we have to play aggressively and believe in each other.”
Mary Washington was unable to capitalize on the momentum provided by Dick’s early goal, as Salisbury closed out the opening quarter riding a 5-0 run. The Sea Gulls’ dominance at the faceoff-X (25-for-27) quickly turned the match into a game of “make it, take it.”
Forced to make a play, the Eagles’ young defenders were unable to take the ball away, and Salisbury was able to control the pace of the game. Motivated by a midweek loss to No. 3 Stevenson University, Salisbury did not tap the breaks after building a significant lead in the first quarter.
Despite back-to-back unassisted second quarter tallies from senior midfielder Paul Tunick and junior midfielder Joey Marson, the Sea Gulls were able to extend their lead to 9-3 before halftime. Things would only get uglier for the Eagles after the break.
About five minutes into the second half, starting goalie Zack Del Grosso, a junior, was subbed out after stopping six shots and surrendering 13 goals. His replacement, senior Kyle Davitt, held Salisbury scoreless for the remainder of the period.
Ultimately, both goalies fell victim to an offensive assault that outshot the UMW attackers 51-29, as Davitt gave up seven goals in the final frame of the contest. Senior midfielder Sean Dacey preserved the Eagles’ remaining pride, notching a goal one minute before the final horn sounded.
Dacey noticed a few learning points in the loss. “We need to improve on our fundamentals,” he said. “We are at our best when we are doing the basics well.”
The Eagles are still in a solid position, with impressive victories under their belts over Whittier College, State University of New York Plattsburgh and Goucher College. The team is determined to conclude the regular season on a high note in conference play.
“Basically, our whole season boils down to these last few conference games,” Tunick said. “We want to get a good seeding in the conference tournament and make it to the CAC championship.”
A second conference loss to St. Mary’s College of Maryland on Wednesday, April 10, set the Eagles back even futher. UMW fell to the Seahawks, 9-8, in overtime, after rallying back from a first half deficit.
However, If the Eagles can top the ever-troublesome York College Spartans, they will still be in prime position to make noise in the conference tournament, where they could potentially have a rematch with Salisbury. Other CAC contenders, Frostburg State University and Marymount University, still lie ahead on the schedule and should not be overlooked.