Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Established 1874.

The Oberlin Review

Men’s Lacrosse Rolls Chatham in Season Opener


For the third consecutive season, the men’s lacrosse team took down Chatham University in its season opener.

The team traveled to Pittsburgh last Saturday to try and start their season off with a win. Competing in dismal weather, the Yeomen were not playing up to their abilities for the first three quarters of the game. Heading into the fourth quarter, they led by just one goal with the score at 6–5.

Oberlin’s defense, which had been stellar the entire game, held tough as the offense found life and went on a tear. Led by fifth-year attacker Ryan Blasberg, the Crimson and Gold scored six unanswered goals to double their total and put the game away. Blasberg’s four goal, one assist performance earned him North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week accolades.

Blasberg was honored to receive the award but considered it a wider reflection of the team as a whole rather than of himself as an individual.

“This award means a lot to me, as well as the team,” Blasberg said. “I think it means that we’re moving in the right direction. Our offense two years ago — we had a great run. We were really quick, and last year we kind of fell off a bit, but I feel like we’re rebounding really well as a team. We’re playing well. There’s not a lot of friction. There’s a lot of team chemistry with ball movement, with decision making, with finishing, all sorts of stuff like that. So, I think it’s an award that signifies that the team is moving in the right direction.”

There are major goals and expectations for the team this year. They are knocking on the doorstep of becoming one of the top teams in the NCAC. Third-year captain Jonas Taylor-Lillquist, who was named a third team All-NCAC player last year, has two main goals for his squad this season: taking out one of the top three teams and achieving success that the team hasn’t had in years.

“My first tier [goal for the team] would definitely be knocking off one of Denison [University], [Ohio Wesleyan University], or Kenyon [College] because I’ve never beaten them,” Taylor-Lillquist said. “My goal before I leave here is to definitely beat one of those three teams. The overall goal for the team is to win the conference tournament, and then eventually make the NCAA tournament and really try to move the team continuously in the right direction because we’ve improved a lot since I’ve gotten here. But I think the next real step is making the NCAA tournament and becoming more nationally known instead of just in the Midwest.”

Blasberg agreed with Taylor-Lillquist’s sentiment and has the same goals for the year.

“This season, I think we can set a group of obtainable but hard-to-get goals,” Blasberg said. “I think that beating Denison is our main one this year. I think that we’re gonna put up a really good fight. … Denison’s home this year. [Ohio Wesleyan] is home this year. So, if we can put those two in the win column, that would be really, really big for us as a program and also on the national scale. We’d get a lot of recognition, and that would be good for the school, recruiting, funding, all sorts of stuff.”

In a stark contrast to the last two years, nearly half of the team are first-years — 22 out of 47 — and there are just six fourth- or fifth-years. As one of the six, Blasberg’s main individual goal is to be the best leader and mentor for the first-years he can be while being a part of a successful team.

“I just want to be a good leader to my teammates,” Blasberg said. “I know that this school can be a hard time for some, and I want to be there for those kids who need that extra help, who need that outlet. I want to make sure that my reputation as an Oberlin lacrosse player will be solidified, and I want my name to maybe be on the record wall. I want my team to have a very, very productive and [winning] season that eventually takes us [to] the playoffs.”

Although the team is young, Taylor-Lillquist is pleased with how the younger athletes on offense and defense have bought into the culture that the coaches and players have been building the past few years.

“Really buying into the systems that we’ve installed is one of our strengths because we have a new defensive coordinator this year,” Taylor-Lillquist said. “I think [Defensive Coordinator Thomas Klosowski] has done a fantastic job of really instilling defensive culture as well as the system of how we’re going to defend other teams. [Head] Coach [Ryan] Polak has taken over the offense for the first time since I’ve been here. This year is his first time leading the offense, and I think [the players] have done a really good job responding to him and how he’s really pushing them to be able to create good offense opportunities, take good shots, and things like that.”

The Yeomen are looking to carry the momentum from their success last weekend into their first home game of the year. They will take on Trine University tomorrow at 1 p.m at Bailey Field. 

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