Yeomen Ground Comets in First Win


Photo Courtesy of Oberlin Athletics

Seniors Nick Lobley (left) and Alex Wagman celebrate during the Yeomen’s home opener this weekend. The Yeomen beat the Olivet College Comets 19–11 and will return to the Knowlton Athletics Complex to face St. Mary’s College this Sunday at 12 p.m.

Darren Zaslau, Sports Editor

After a grueling winter preseason, the men’s lacrosse team started their 2015–2016 season with a dominant 19–11 victory against the Olivet College Comets on Saturday at the Knowlton Athletics Complex. The win makes the men’s lacrosse team the first spring sport to get a home win in 2016 and marked the fourth consecutive year that the Yeomen have opened their season with a victory.

The Yeomen wasted no time in getting on the scoreboard; less than 15 seconds into the game, senior attackman Alex Wagman netted his first of seven goals in the game. Senior attackman Nick Lobley complemented Wagman’s efforts, also scoring seven goals and contributing four assists to secure the Yeomen’s non–conference win. Lobley, a native of Port Washington, NY, was named the North Coast Athletic Conference Player of the Week for his superb play.

Oberlin led 6–2 after the first quarter, but Olivet outscored the Yeomen 4–3 in the second. Leading 9–6 at the half, the Yeomen dominated in the final 30 minutes, outscoring the Comets 10–5 in the second half to secure the win.

Head Coach Topher Grossman was extremely pleased with the Yeomen’s energy in the season opener.

“I definitely liked our effort,” Grossman said. “I thought we learned a lot in our first time out.”

The Oberlin offense was firing on all cylinders Saturday afternoon as they outshot the Comets by a 42–39 margin overall and a 28–24 margin on goal. This success was due in no small part to senior midfielder Alex Wright and the entire midfield play.

Wright said he was pleased with the way the offense played, especially in how the entire team seamlessly moved the ball from defense to offense.“We pushed the transition game very hard and it resulted in some great looks,” Wright said.

Defensively, the Yeomen proved to be a disruptive force against the Comets’ offense, causing 13 turnovers in the contest. Senior goalkeeper Miles Brooke turned in a solid performance by making 13 saves against 24 shots and allowing only nine goals in 55 minutes of play.

Senior defenseman and co-captain Matthew Basile noted that the Yeomen’s defense was good in its first outing, but stressed that there is still room for improvement.

“We took some steps in the right direction, but we still have some things to work on,” Basile said.

In addition to the offensive and defensive sides of the ball, the Yeomen were dominant on face-offs and ground ball pickups. Junior Kinori Rosnow won 19 of 27 draws and picked up a game-high 11 ground balls. Oberlin won 25 of 33 face-offs and scooped up 47 ground balls compared to the Comets’ 34.

Coach Grossman said he recognized that his squad must continue to improve, as competition will only grow more rigorous as conference play approaches.

“We gave up 11 goals on 11 of our mistakes,” Grossman said. “Our guys just need to realize that we have to be able to adapt.”

The Yeomen will have a full week of practice before their next contest this Sunday at noon against the St. Mary’s College Seahawks. This is the second game of a three-game home stand for Oberlin at the Knowlton Athletics Complex. Last year, Oberlin was defeated by the Seahawks 15–7 on the road, so the Yeomen expect nothing less than a fierce battle on Sunday afternoon.

With team goals the highest they have been in recent memory, the Yeomen have their sights set on making the conference tournament. The past three seasons have concluded with the Yeomen missing the NCAC tournament by one game, even though the team finished with records above .500. The Yeomen have recorded eight-win seasons in the last three years, but this year the Yeomen look to take the next step and compete for a conference championship.

“We always want to make that NCAC tournament,” Wright said. “That’s always the top priority. And then obviously the national championship always has to be on the horizon for us.”