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Men's Lax Falls by One to Cardinals

by Adam Bishop

With the season winding down, the men's lacrosse team played their last home game Wednesday against the 1-10 Cardinals of Wheeling Jesuit University. The hard-fought contest left the Yeomen broken-hearted with a narrow defeat, dropping their record to 2-10. The game left a sour taste in Oberlin's mouth, as defensive lapses in the first half led to their demise. The Yeomen's performance bodes well for next year's squad.

The teams were evenly matched in manpower, as each squad had less than 20 men on their roster. This is Wheeling Jesuit's first year as a varsity lacrosse program.

In the first quarter, the Yeomen took the early advantage, scoring four goals to Wheeling's two. The Cardinals returned the favor in the second period, putting four shots past Yeomen goalie sophomore Dave Smolev. Oberlin scored two in the second period to notch the score at 6 at halftime.

The third quarter proved to be the difference, as the Yeomen were outscored two to one. The teams traded goals in the final quarter evenly, allowing Wheeling to escape with a one-goal victory.

Freshman attack Erik Vachon led the Yeomen in scoring with six points, tallying two goals and assisting on two others. Sophomore attack/midfield David Rooklin scored four goals and had one assist. Junior attack/midfield Evan Kelly scored three goals. Rounding out the scoring, sophomore attack/midfield Isaiah Chase scored one goal and assisted on another and sophomore goalie Dave Smolev assisted on one goal.

The team played well on defense for most of the game. A few lapses in the first half really hurt the Yeomen. Senior captain Andrew Kim had four penalties in the game, and his leadership was sorely missed when he was absent from the field.

"Both teams were evenly matched, but we let them score some easy goals in the first half, and that proved to be the difference," said Head Coach Jim Donovan.

Despite the loss, the game demonstrates the progress the team has made throughout the year. It also shows the lack of game experience this young team has. As a whole, the first-years have improved with each game, leaving high expectations for next year.

Vachon has distinguished himself on offense in his first year, tying Rooklin for the team lead in scoring. He came from an excellent high school program and has proven himself on the collegiate level. He is the quarterback on offense, directing traffic behind the net and dictating the flow of the game. Next season, he and Rooklin should be a terror to other teams.

Freshman midfield Matt Iorio has been one of the most consistent Yeomen performers all season. Handling the face-off duties like a grizzled veteran, he has aided the team immensely by controlling the ball from the whistle. An unselfish player, he does not shoot the ball with frequency, but he effectively sets up his teammates on offense. He is also a skillful defensive midfielder who has prevented opponents from converting on fast breaks.

Sophomores Felipe Fernandez and Kris Overstreet and first-years Sam Bryar, Luke Tracy, Derrick Watson, Pete Dybdahl, Barya Schachter and J.P. Odbert have made great strides over the year to improve their game. Many of these players will compete for a starting job next season.

The men's lacrosse team's final game is this Saturday at Meadville College in Buffalo, NY. Game time is 2 p.m.

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Copyright © 2000, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 128, Number 22, April 28, 2000

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