The Oberlin Review
<< Front page Sports May 4, 2007

Too Little, Too Late for Men's Lacrosse
Looking for a Sign: Senior Attackman Brian Harfenist looks on as a teammate turns behind the crease to set up the attack against Colorado College. The Yeomen fell 9-13.

It would be easy to think of the last two men’s lacrosse games as a poor way to finish out the season. With losses 5-17 to Kenyon on Wednesday, May 2 and 9-13 to Colorado College on Sunday, April 29, the team finished out the season 3-11 (0-5 NCAC). But there’s more to it than that.

First, there are the moments of brilliance, like the third quarter against Colorado, when the Yeomen offense rallied to net five goals and sent Colorado scrambling to regroup. Senior and one of four captains Bryan Harfenist also made his 100th goal in his Oberlin career.

“I was slightly nervous because I entered the game with 97 career goals and have been aiming for 100,” said Harfenist. “With two games left, both Colorado and Kenyon are serious opponents, I was unsure of whether I would achieve it. I wound up getting the three against Colorado thanks to beautiful looks from fellow senior midfielder Ian Mark and attackman Alex Jacobs.”

Another hopeful part of the Yeomen’s future is the first-year triumvirate Alex Jacobs, Erik Strand and Nick Sherman, who have scored 21, 26 and 21 goals this season, respectively. These first-years leave everyone feeling optimistic for the future.

“The freshmen have contributed immensely to our success this season and the growth of the program,” Harfenist said.

Harfenist also noted that the team is scoring more goals and giving up fewer, key improvements that he feels will contribute to the team’s future successes.

Senior captain Mat Markman agrees. “We can play with any team in our conference, and over the next few years Oberlin lacrosse will pull away with some significant victories.”

But the most important part of the Yeomen’s game is how they play their hearts out every time.

According to Markman, “As Oberlin lacrosse players we hold ourselves to a high standard both on and off the field.  No matter who our opponent, whether it’s the toughest or weakest team on our schedule, we strive to step onto the field and play our game.”

That said, the Yeomen have some stepping up to do. The NCAC is a tough conference for lacrosse, with powerhouse teams such as Ohio Wesleyan, Denison and Kenyon regularly winning slots at the NCAA Division III Championship tournament. While moments like the third quarter against Colorado show the great potential of the team, that same game reveals that the Yeomen often take too long to find their rhythm or are unable to keep their momentum once they find it.

The Yeomen will also have to fill the void left by this year’s graduating seniors, Harfenist and Mark. Though they may be only two in number, their teammates understand that their influence as players and team leaders may add up to a bigger loss.

“Bryan and Ian have played an essential role in building the Oberlin Lacrosse program,” said Markman. “Their efforts will be felt for years to come&hellip;They have been both incredible teammates and wonderful friends.”

When asked how he felt about graduating, Harfenist said, “It has been a privilege to be a part of this team for four years&hellip;I will be very sad to not be contributing to the inevitable success we will have in the future.”

The graduating seniors will play for the last time as current students on Saturday, May 12 at 2 p.m. in the annual alumni game.


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