Yeomen Fail to Complete Comeback

Matt Walker

The men’s lacrosse team journeyed to Gambier, Ohio Wednesday for its annual rivalry matchup against the Ke­nyon College Lords. After Saturday’s loss to Denison Uni­versity — ranked fifth in the nation — the Yeomen were looking to get back into the win column against their conference foe. While the Lords boast one of the North Coast Athletic Conference’s best offenses, the Yeomen were looking to keep their Conference hopes alive with a win in Gambier.

Kenyon started the game aggressively, scoring eight goals in the first half alone. Junior attacker Eric Hager had the Yeomen’s lone goal in the first half, sending Oberlin into the halftime down by a score of 8–1.

Senior attacker Nick Lobley and sophomore attacker Steve Kelleher each found the back of the net early in the third period to bring the score to 9–3, but the Lords ulti­mately closed the period with three goals of their own to further the deficit to 12–3.

Senior attacker Alex Wagman said that missed offensive opportunities in the first half proved costly down the line.

“We had our chances early as the game was tied at 1–1,” Wagman said. “But ultimately, Kenyon capitalized on the invert offense and caught our defense out of position off ball.”

Led mainly by the trio of Lobley, Wagman and Hager, the Yeomen attempted a comeback at the start of the fourth quarter. Wagman notched his 31st goal of the season early in the period, which was closely followed by another goal from Hager. Hager then as­sisted a goal by Lobely to cut the deficit to 13–6 before notching his 16th goal of the season and facilitating another Lobley goal. Senior midfielder and co-captain Matt Fox continued the comeback bid, earning his 14th goal of the year. Lobley scored with 2 minutes and 9 seconds left on the clock to cap off the run. Unfortunately, a three-goal deficit proved too much for the Yeomen to overcome, and they were ultimately defeat­ed 13–10.

Oberlin’s offensive surge in the fourth quarter was primarily due to the Yeomen’s improved use of the Lords’ clears. The Yeo­men went 11–18 in clears, with most of which occurred in the fourth quarter. Ju­nior midfielder Kinori Rosnow provided a bright spot for the Yeomen, winning 17-of- 27 face-offs and grabbing 10 ground balls in the game.

Senior defender and co-captain Mat­thew Basile forced three turnovers in the game. He said that his squad needs to focus on the details much more than it has so far this season.

“We always harp on the little things,” Basile said. “Our inability to do these con­sistently has led to inconsistent play.”

Ball control and possession on the field was relatively evenly split between the rivals. Oberlin finished the game by out­shooting Kenyon 43–42, but Kenyon con­trolled 38 groundballs to Oberlin’s 35.

After the 2016 season, the Yeomen will lose Lobley and Wagman, who are the team’s top two offensive threats. The team missing their presence, as well as that of Basile and Dominic Fiallo on defense, will leave Head Coach Topher Grossman look­ing for ways for the team to keep its edge. With three games left in the season, Gross­man is now searching for positive play from the younger players on the roster.

“We want our seniors to finish their careers and the underclassmen to finish the 2016 season on the best note possible,” Grossman said. “To do so, we will need to take each game at a time. It is about fin­ishing through for this season, and starting the groundwork for the next season”

The Yeomen are now 3–9 overall and 0–5 in the NCAC for the season. Oberlin plays on Saturday and honors its senior class when it hosts the Wabash College Little Gi­ants. The senior day ceremony will precede the game and face-off will commence at noon on Bailey Field.