Yeomen Lose Crusade Against Capital
The men’s lacrosse team took the field this Saturday looking to bounce back from its heartbreaking loss to St. Mary’s College last Sunday. But the Capital University Crusaders had other plans, defeating the Yeomen 11–8 at the Knowlton Athletics Complex for the second time in as many years. With the loss, Oberlin fell to 2–1 overall, with just one non-conference game remaining before North Coast Athletic Conference play begins.
After one quarter of play, Oberlin led 2–1, marking its only lead of the game. From the start of the second quarter, the Crusader’s offense took over as the team outscored the Yeomen 3–1 to take a 4–3 lead at halftime.
Oberlin made a valiant effort in the second half, matching the Crusaders goal for goal and entering the fourth quarter only trailing 7–6. Junior attacker Eric Hager tied the game early in the fourth quarter, netting his sixth goal of the season and his first of the game. But Capital’s offense made the real difference down the stretch. The Crusaders scored four of the game’s final five goals to propeling the team to victory.
Oberlin Head Coach Topher Grossman said he was disappointed with the final result of the game.
“I think we made mistakes offensively and defensively,” Grossman said, “really just kind of mental errors and things that are more related to focus.”
Oberlin barely outshot Capital 40–38, but the Crusaders were more effective in putting the ball on target, getting more shots on Oberlin’s goal by a margin of 23–20.
Senior Nick Lobley led the way for the Yeomen offensively, netting three goals, while senior Alex Wagman scored two and chipped in two assists. Lobley and Wagman currently lead the NCAC in scoring this season; the pair have scored 14 goals and 12 goals, respectively.
Brennan O’Callaghan scored a game-high five goals on 15 shots for the Crusaders while adding two assists. The Capital defense was also excellent, forcing 19 Oberlin turnovers compared to the 13 Crusader errors that Oberlin’s defense caused.
Lobley said he was pleased with the way his team played in stretches, but stressed that the squad must execute better in crucial situations.
“Once we settled down, I think we had a big third quarter,” Lobley said. “In the end, we weren’t able to get the goals when we needed them.”
Oberlin’s offense is currently tied with Wabash College for fourth place in the conference. Both teams have scored 37 goals so far this year. The Yeomen look to build upon these impressive numbers next Wednesday when they travel to Baldwin Wallace University to take on the Yellow Jackets.
Sophomore attacker Ian McCague said he believes this final non-conference matchup is an important tune-up game for the NCAC season, which begins the following weekend.
“We definitely have to get back on that winning track and pick up momentum before we get into conference games,” McCague said.
Oberlin’s first conference matchup will be against the number nine Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops Saturday, March 19 at 1 p.m. at the Knowlton Athletics Complex.
Grossman said he believes the Battling Bishops are a talented team, and that the team will prove to be a tough test for his squad so early in conference play. The Yeomen have not defeated Ohio Wesleyan in the six seasons that Grossman has been the team’s head coach.
“They are athletic; they are skilled,” Grossman said. “We just need to worry about us, not really the number that’s in front of them.”
In order for the Yeomen to win these next matchups and to complete one of their season goals of qualifying for the NCAC tournament, the team knows it must continue to improve.
“Right now, it’s about just getting better and getting ready for [the] conference, because that’s when it’s really going to start mattering,” Lobley said.
Wednesday’s matchup against Baldwin Wallace University is set for 7:30 p.m. in Berea, Ohio.