Men’s Lacrosse Fights Through Three-Game Losing Streak

Shuntaro Shirota

The Yeomen have battled through a rough spring break, losing to both the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops and the Kenyon College Lords, while also falling to the nationally ranked Denison University Big Red this Tuesday. In the three contests, the Yeomen were outscored 35–10.

The showdown against the Battling Bishops on March 23 was highlighted by OWU’s merciless offensive attack and stifling defense. By the conclusion of the first half, the Battling Bishops had already amassed 11 scores while completely shutting out Oberlin’s attack. OWU held nothing back in the second half, scoring five more goals.

Oberlin’s leading scorer this year, sophomore Sean Higgins, explained that “[going into the game] we just did not come mentally prepared. [OWU] is a very good team. They are one of the best teams in our conference.” The Yeomen’s lone strike came with 26 seconds left in the third period when rookie attacker Alex Wagman found fellow rookie Nick Lobley, but it was too little too late as Oberlin fell 16–1.

“Even though we lost, we are still a confident team,” said Higgins. It certainly showed in the Yeomen’s second match of spring break against the Lords. The Lords were the first to strike early in the game, but the Yeomen roared back with five goals to end the first half. First-year Alex Wagman contributed three goals with assists coming from Higgens, first-year Matthew Fox and senior captain Connor Jackson. Jackson also scored two of the five goals himself.

The game was certainly far from over, and Kenyon dominated the second half. Following Wagman’s fourth goal early in the fourth period, it was all Kenyon as they rallied from behind to tie the game 6–6 with four minutes left to play. In heartbreaking fashion, the Lords took the lead with 15 seconds left in the game. The contest ended with the Yeomen falling short, 6–7. “We were leading 5–1 by halftime. We were in Kenyon’s head. We were competing, we were shutting them down, [and] we had them to the fence. And it just slipped through our fingers. … It was very bitter,” said Higgins.

As spring break came to a close, Oberlin hosted 12th-ranked Denison on Tuesday, April 2. Learning from their slow start against the Battling Bishops, the Yeomen came into the match against Denison determined to start the game hot. Indeed they did, controlling the flow of the game for the entire first period.

The Yeomen defense kept the Big Red’s offense in check and kept them off of the scoreboard, while junior Connor Jackson led the offense with two goals. But Denison showed why it is classed as one of the nation’s elite squads, outscoring the Yeomen 1–12 after the first period. The game concluded with Denison on top, 3–12. With the loss to Denison, the Yeomen have endured a three-game losing streak and their record has dipped one game below .500.

“Talent-wise, we’re better than that,” said Hig- gins, “but we deserved those losses.” With 14 new first-year recruits and only four seniors, Oberlin’s is a very young team that continues to gain valuable experience as it marches through the season. “With our youth, we’re definitely going to be a force to be reckoned with in the future,” Higgins said. However, he was sure to add that, more than anything, they “want to win now.”