<< Front page Sports March 19, 2004

Men’s lacrosse upsets the W&J Presidents

Strong Stick: Men’s lacrosse player senior co-captain Ryan Silakoski (left) brings attackman first-year Matt Gordon to the ground with a strong check to his stick.

Oberlin’s men’s lacrosse team opened the 2004 campaign with a 12-4 whooping of the Washington and Jefferson Presidents. Head coach Rob Oldham’s incoming recruiting class displayed promise in the season opener highlighted by the four goals scored each by first-years Ian Holljes and Bryan Harfenist.

Harfenist broke the scoreless tie at the 8:19 mark of the first quarter when he accepted Holljes’s pass and fired it into the deep pocket of the net. The Presidents responded three minutes later on a goal from attacker Kyle O’Meara.

“Holljes, Beckett and Harfenist worked very well together and definitely settled some angst about how well the attack would mesh in a game,” sophomore co-captain Will Jaffee said, regarding the fine play of the inexperienced first-years.

“Bryan’s shot was on all game and Holljes did a good job seeing appropriate places to dish.”

The Yeomen continued to trade scores with the Presidents, with Harfenist’s second goal of the afternoon with 2:41 left in the quarter.

The Presidents responded when first-year midfielder Matt Lynch scored eight seconds into the second quarter, resulting in a 2-2 tie.

Holljes rallied off three of the four Yeomen goals in a span of 3:08, before the Yeomen finally traded scores with the Presidents to finish the half at 8-3. The Yeomen continued their dominance in the second half, adding four goals and allowing just one to slide past sophomore goalie and co-captain Jared Pickard.

A phenomenal defensive effort was headed by last season’s NCAC honorable mention goaltender Pickard, who totaled 17 saves on the day, including a handful of saves on shots within feet of the net.

Senior co-captain Ryan Silakoski provided a bruising physical presence on the defensive side of the ball. Silakoski kept many President attackers on their toes with his tenacity. The defense catalyzed many fast breaks and several turnovers that resulted in a .889 penalty-killing percentage by the Yeomen.

The team displayed great improvement from last spring on both ends of the ball. “Both ‘O’ and ‘D’ are far superior to what they were last year,” Jaffee said. “We move the ball well on ‘O’ and work together as a cohesive sliding defense.”

Both Jaffee and Pickard recognize that the added depth of this season’s team has rekindled team morale and confidence.

“We have been working very hard since the first week of school in Sept. in order to prepare for that game,” Pickard said. “The combination of the freshmen wanting to win their first-ever college lacrosse games and the upperclassmen wanting to seek revenge from last year was apparently what it took to win the game.”

Holljes finished the season opener with four goals and four assists while Jaffee provided a pair of goals himself. Harfenist provided four offensive scores for the Yeomen while sophomore midfielder David Schlussman added a goal.

The victory improves the Yeomen to 1-0 while the Presidents dropped their third straight. Last season the Yeomen lost to the Presidents twice, 8-10 and 10-12.

“The win was a great one, especially since we lost to them twice last year,” Jaffee said.

The Yeomen resume play away Saturday, March 20 against Wittenberg University and take the field at home Wednesday, March 24 versus Kenyon.


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