Men’s Lacrosse Dominates in Season Opener

Rose Stolof, Staff Writer

After a long and focused preseason, the men’s lacrosse team put their preparation to the test on Saturday afternoon in their season opener against Olivet College. The Yeomen proved themselves ready, soundly defeating Olivet 11–22.

The team began the game with fervor. “We were really firing on all cylinders; we had a lot of intensity,” said junior captain Mickey Fiorillo.

Sophomore Sean Higgins led the offensive charge, scoring five goals of his own in the first half. The Yeomen jumped out in front early, leading 2–10 after one quarter and 5–16 at the half.

Oberlin’s success came as a result of very directed preseason preparation, both physically and mentally. The team exercised much more discipline in lifting groups than in previous seasons and shifted its attitude about the sport as well.

“Sports at Oberlin are not always a fully committed, driven thing,” said Fiorillo. “The general attitude is more like, ‘This is a sport I want to play; it’s fun; I’m going to do it,’ rather than ‘This is a sport I’m gonna play; I’m gonna do it to the best of my ability, give it my all, and go full throttle with it.’ I think we have that attitude as a team this year, and I think we are all really committed to having a good season.”

But as the game wore on, the Yeomen grew complacent and let some of their drive taper off, something they’ll look to improve on going forward.

“That team really had no business scoring 11 goals on us whatsoever,” said Fiorillo. “Looking at that, we need to focus on playing the full 60 minutes, and keeping our intensity up.”

Olivet’s lacrosse program is brand new this year. Facing a weaker opponent, the Yeomen took the opportunity to focus on their possession skills and allowed each of their players, including rookie first-years, a chance in the game.

The Yeomen have 14 new first-years this season, and incorporating new players into the team has been historically difficult. “We had some mishaps last year incorporating in because we only had four seniors,” said Fiorillo. Though the team only has four seniors this season as well, it has learned from its mistakes. “We were a lot more proactive [this season] about sitting down with the freshmen, telling them what they can and can’t do, what type of hours they need to devote to studying. I think we took a more proactive approach and it worked out.”

Oberlin finished last season with many injuries and not a lot of confidence. “Team morale was pretty low, especially for the amount of time and effort and energy we were putting in for team lifts, extra practices and skill sessions,” noted Fiorillo. Fortunately, the Yeomen are much more optimistic about this season, and their victory over Olivet only reinforced that spirit.

“We’re shooting for a conference championship this season,” said Fiorillo. “We haven’t had a conference win, let alone a conference championship, in, I don’t know, since before I was born.”

This is an ambitious goal for Oberlin given their bleak history in the North Coast Athletic Conference. Saturday’s score, however, indicates the Yeomen may be changing their luck. The 22 goals scored were the most the lacrosse team has scored in over a decade. If this is any indication, the Yeomen have a promising season ahead of them.