Men’s and Women’s Lacrosse Suffer Pair of Tough Losses

John Critterden

The men’s lacrosse team came up just short in two close games this week, on the road at 19th ranked Wittenberg University on Saturday, April 9, and home against the College of Wooster Scots on Wednesday, April 13. The Yeomen came out with confidence against the Tigers, taking a 5¬–4 lead early in the third quarter. Oberlin was unable to close out the win, however, ultimately falling 8–6 to the talented Wittenberg squad. Despite the disappointing result, the Yeomen can hold their heads high knowing that they gave the Tigers all they could handle with a hard-fought 60-minute effort. First-year midfielder Mickey Fiorillo and sophomore attacker Connor Jackson each scored twice in the loss to pace the Yeomen, with senior midfielder and captain Rob Bond and junior midfielder Dan Fineman rounding out the scoring.

After falling behind 2–0 in the first quarter, the Yeomen fought back to tie the game at 2–2 behind goals by Jackson and Bond, and Fiorello and Fineman netted first-half goals of their own to tie it 4–4 at intermission. Jackson’s second goal of the contest gave Oberlin the lead in the third, raising hopes of the upset. But these hopes were only to be dashed, as the Tigers responded with four consecutive goals to take a decisive lead. Fiorello’s second goal with just over nine minutes left in the contest was the last of the game as the Yeomen were unable to mount a dramatic comeback.

The Yeomen had to swallow another tough loss at home against Wooster. It was a back and forth affair in the first quarter as the teams traded goals, with Oberlin closing the period on a score by Fiorello with one second left to knot the game at 2–2. The Yeomen found themselves down 5-3 at halftime, but they fought back to a 5–5 tie in the opening minutes of the third behind goals by Jackson and junior attacker Dylan Holmes. Unfortunately, Oberlin again came up short in the final period, as the Scots scored four unanswered goals to win 9–5.

Despite the results, the Yeomen have plenty of reason for optimism, pushing a nationally ranked team to the edge.

“We came out with a lot of heart, but we need to execute better and put 60 minutes together, and we didn’t really get that done today,” junior defenseman James Kriz said.

Oberlin will look to continue improving and use these games as a springboard to end the season strong.

“We have one more chance to get a league win,” said senior captain Rob Bond. “We definitely want to do that and try win out. We can drastically improve our record this season.”

The women’s lacrosse team had two games of their own this past week, falling in similarly tight fashion 19–14 on the road against the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops on Sunday, April 10, and dropping a 19–7 contest at home against the College of Wooster on Wednesday, April 13.

The Yeowomen dug themselves a hole in their first matchup, falling behind 10–3 to the Bishops midway through the first half. But they responded admirably, showing their resolve by outscoring Ohio Wesleyan from that point on.

By halftime, the Yeowomen had closed the gap to five, with the Bishops leading 15–8. Unfortunately, Oberlin was unable to keep the pressure on, as the Bishops used another scoring spurt to take a 19–11 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the game. The Yeowomen had no quit in them though, with junior midfielder and captain Alice Zicht notching her third goal of the season and sophomore midfielder Grace Amber scoring another pair, her fourth and fifth of the year, in the game’s closing minutes to bring the score to its 19–14 final.

Sophomore attacker Ilyssa Meyer joined Amber and Zicht at the top of the scoresheet, contributing four goals of her own.

“We’ve been playing a lot better than the score is showing. We have a young team, and we’ve been improving,” Meyer said.

The Yeowomen suffered through another painful learning experience against the Scots. Oberlin again tried to recover from a slow start, surrendering a 9–3 lead early in the first half but dominating the rest of the half to narrow the score to 9–5. In the second half, however, the Scots began to run away with it despite the Yeowomen’s never-say-die attitude. First-year midfielder Phoebe Hammer added her second free position goal of the game, but the Wooster offense proved to be too much.

While the loss is certainly disappointing, there are positives to be taken away, including the Yeowomen’s perfect 6–6 mark in scoring free position attempts behind two conversions each by Hammer and sophomore midfielders Molly Bloom and Amber.

The Yeowomen have certainly dealt with plenty of adversity this season, losing their head coach Liz Longley to illness in recent weeks; hopefully their struggles will bring the bring the team closer together. “Our team is a lot stronger than last year, we’re really coming together and playing better lacrosse. We keep having spurts of success and we just need to find ways to put those spurts together,” Zicht said.

Next up for the Yeowomen is a road contest against Allegheny College in Meadville, PA on Saturday, April 16 at 12 p.m. For the Yeomen, they travel to Bethany, WV, on April 16 to take Bethany College.