Men’s Lacrosse Eliminated by Denison in Postseason


Courtesy of Oberlin Athletics

Men’s lacrosse 2021–22 team and coaching staff stand on Bailey Field.

For the first time since its induction into the North Coast Athletic Conference, men’s lacrosse played a postseason game against Denison University in the semifinal of the tournament on Wednesday, losing 19–9. Oberlin’s loss came right off a 16–12 victory against The College of Wooster in the last game of the regular season. 

Denison has had a successful season and went into the tournament with a 9–0 conference record and an eight-game winning streak; the Wednesday game was the Yeomen’s second loss against them, the first being 16–9. Before the matchup, fourth-year and long stick midfielder JT Starcke had hoped that this time, the team would bring more focus to the game. 

“The last time we played Denison, we did not execute for seven minutes of the first quarter,” Starcke wrote in an email to the Review. “That is what gave them the separation, and we understand now that not executing is what ultimately lost us that game. Therefore, our focus is on the execution of our jobs for a full 60 minutes. We know our jobs, we know where we have to be. … That, we believe, will bring an intense battle to Granville.”

Unfortunately, Denison quickly pulled away with the lead in the first half, and the Yeomen could not find the momentum they needed until the fourth quarter, where they scored four goals. 

Despite the loss, the men’s lacrosse team still has much to celebrate. They entered the postseason game coming from a historic regular season with a .667 winning percentage in conference games, the first time the team has gone over .500 in the conference play, and a 12–4 overall record — the best in program history. Fourth-year attacker Tom Decker credits the team’s success to the hard work every player put in and has high hopes for next year’s season. 

“Even guys who don’t play a lot in games give 100 percent in practice to make sure the team is well-prepared to play come game time,” Decker wrote in an email to the Review. “We all know our roles and play them well. There’s also a lot of camaraderie on the team, and guys want to win for each other. This season has been so special and I can’t wait to watch how the program improves even more in the future.”

Denison will play Kenyon College tomorrow for the NCAC Championship.