Oberlin Revs Up for Conference Play
The men’s lacrosse team continues to search for answers as the season progresses. Before the break, the Yeomen were 1–3 as they entered their game against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops on March 19.
The Yeomen’s defense could not withstand the Battling Bishops’ offensive onslaught. It took a goal toward the end of the first half from senior attacker Nick Lobley to answer the Bishops’ 11–0 run.
After a tough first half, the Yeomen kept the Bishops close to even in the second half, which led to a 19–9 loss for the Yeomen.
A bright spot in the disappointing afternoon came when senior midfielder Alex Wright notched his first goal of the season. Wright felt that the team’s second-half battle was more significant than its overall loss.
“We played tough against a top-10 team and showed that we have it within ourselves to compete with a team of that caliber,” he said.
In their following game against the Transylvania University Pioneers on March 22, the Yeomen successfully put an end to their four-game skid with a confident 12–7 win on the road.
Junior attacker Eric Hager earned his 20th point this season with a two-goal and five-assist performance against the Pioneers. Hager came off the field as the Yeomen’s season leader for assists, bringing his total to 15. With this win, the Yeomen jumped their record to 2–4 for the season.
Hager said the Yeomen, never having faced the Pioneers before, made it their goal to continue to improve and not play down to their competition.
“We can choose to pull away when we really set our minds to it, given that our win came primarily from our fourth-quarter offensive success,” Hager said.
On March 26, the Yeomen faced another conference rival in the Wittenberg University Tigers but were edged out in a 12–8 routing that left them 2–5 for the season. Even though Lobley had an impressive game-high of six goals, improving his season total to 23, the Yeomen couldn’t maintain their strong start and soon lost their early 2–0 lead.
First-year midfielder Dan Nerenhausen said the team’s goal to start aggressively may have affected the squad’s endurance for the rest of the match.
“Witt was a game where we came out hot, played well and should’ve pulled out the win, but it definitely makes two of our next conference games against The College of Wooster and Kenyon must-wins to make the tournament,” Nerenhausen said. The Yeomen again encountered an issue of consistency on the field that they said to improve in their next contest.
Tuesday night the Yeomen couldn’t quite break their losing habit and were defeated 12–11 by the University of Mount Union Raiders in another close game. Even though the senior trio of Matt Fox, Wagman and Lobley kept the Yeomen in the fight for a win for most of the contest, the Raiders’ goal to put them up 9–8 changed the momentum of the game, leading to the Yeomen’s loss.
The game against Mount Union was a chance for the Yeomen to get back in the win column, and even though they came up short, Head Coach Topher Grossman said he plans to continue stressing the importance of staying together and playing hard.
“We played a one-goal ball game, and we played for about three minutes, but we played with a sense of urgency and need to come out like that out of the gate,” Grossman said.
After Tuesday’s loss, the Yeomen now stand 2–6 and 0–2 in conference. They are back to hunt for victory today against The College of Wooster at 8 p.m. in Wooster, Ohio.