Crusaders Push Past Yeomen in Close Game


Courtesy of Erik Andrews

First-year Reese Koburov looks past a Capital University defender in a road game last Saturday. Koburov scored twice, but the Yeomen could not overcome an early four-point deficit and fell 8–7.

Randy Ollie

The men’s lacrosse team suffered its first loss last Saturday, falling 8–7 to the Capital University Crusaders in a back-and-forth battle. The Yeomen managed to stay within two goals for the entire fourth quarter but were ultimately unable to reclaim their early lead.

Despite the loss, Oberlin saw success in five different players combining for the team’s seven goals. First-year Reese Koburov struck first with one of his two goals at the 11-minute mark in the first quarter to give the Yeomen an early edge. Less than three minutes later, however, the Crusaders tied up the game at 1–1. Junior Matt Fox said that the Yeomen’s slow first half put the team in a difficult position to pull out a win.

“We came out a little flat,” Fox said. “We had a strong second half, but our first half wasn’t very good. We went down early, and we were playing from behind for most of the game.”

The Yeomen regained the lead once more in the first quarter on a goal from junior Nick Lobley, but the Crusaders quickly evened the score less than four minutes later. Oberlin then allowed four unanswered goals, falling behind 6–2 halfway through the third quarter. With less than four minutes to play in the quarter, Koburov and Lobley were able to collect one more goal apiece, bringing the score to 6–4 heading into the final quarter.

First-year Ian McCague, sophomore Eric Hager and junior Barrett Kelly found the back of the net in the fourth quarter, but the Crusaders were able to cash in two goals of their own against senior goalkeeper Erickson Andrews to clinch the win. Andrews finished the game with eight saves, extending his season total to 22.

Senior captain Sean Seaman collected a team high of five ground balls in the contest. Reflecting on the game, Seaman believed the Yeomen were not well prepared for it.

“We just weren’t ready for that kind of game, and we really underestimated our opponent,” he said. “We had a bad practice leading up to the game, and we weren’t ready to compete.”

Late Wednesday afternoon, the Yeomen bounced back from the tough loss with a decisive 8–5 win over the Trine University Thunder at home. Lobley, Hager, McCague, Seaman and Koburov all scored in the contest. As Oberlin fell behind three goals early in the game, it appeared that the team would face a similar fate against the Thunder as it had against the Crusaders. However, the Yeomen powered through the fourth quarter without giving up a single goal to secure an important win.

Looking ahead, the Yeomen will continue to build on their offensive momentum. This season, 11 Yeomen have each scored at least two goals, and nearly half the team’s total goals have come from first-years. Lobley, who leads the team with 10 goals, said he expects the offensive talent to play a big role in the rest of their season.

“Our depth on offense is definitely important,” Lobley said. “Moving forward, we definitely expect a lot of different individuals to step up and produce.”

Head Coach Topher Grossman also noted that a range of players have the potential to contribute to a very successful season.

“We certainly have more depth and talent across the board than we have had in previous years,” Grossman said. “Once everyone is on the same page, it could make for some exciting lacrosse.”

The team will play its first North Coast Athletic Conference game of the season this Saturday when it takes on the Ohio Wesleyan University Battling Bishops in Delaware, Ohio at 1 p.m.