Men’s lacrosse defense steps up agains Keuka
Despite sophomore Ian Dias’s and junior Will Jaffee’s offensive efforts, Oberlin fell 12-6 to Keuka College last Saturday. Dias scored three goals for the Yeomen while Jaffee netted one goal and two assists. Sophomore Bryan Harfenist and junior Andrew Crosby found the net as well, scoring one goal a piece.
Head Coach Kevin Walz was disappointed with the offensive play. He indicated that missed offensive opportunities and poor shot placement played a huge role in the team’s loss. In the first half of the game the team struggled with their defense to offense transition, resulting in diminished possession time.
“It seems the team is on the brink of breaking open and doing really well. There just seem to be one or two areas where we seem to be stuck in a rut and can’t get out,” said first-year George “Moose” Terry. “Against Keuka these problems just seemed to be exploited, we struggle in the beginning of games transitioning the ball from defense to offense.”
While the offensive unit was having difficulty, the defense pulled their weight against Keuka, managing to kill five out of eight man-downs. Senior Dan Cole praised sophomore Max Braun’s play, “[Braun] shut down his man the whole game. That is a huge deal and really helped the whole team.” After a slow start Cole and the defense kicked things into gear and managed to not only deny his man but led the defensive during the man-down time. Junior goalie Jared Pickard had an impressive game, with 12 saves against Keuka.
Despite the strong defensive play, the Yeomen were extremely perturbed with their play. “This game was frustrating because we hustled all game but just were not playing our best,” said Cole. “We spent a lot of time on defense and when that happens you obviously can’t win. Keuka was a disciplined team who played well and was patient. They had some good shooters who had some great shots.”
On Wednesday, the Yeomen played their second of five mandatory conference games against Denison University. Coming into the game Denison was ranked #23 in the nation and showed it with their play, defeating the Yeomen 14-2.
The Yeomen struggled to keep control of the ball on their offensive side of the field and stay at even strength. Oberlin committed eight penalties compared to Denison’s one.
Dias was the lone scorer for the Yeomen, putting in a goal for each half. He also took the most shots for Oberlin with six.
On Saturday Wittenberg will travel to Oberlin for what will perhaps be the Yeomen’s most important game of the season. In the Yeomen’s fourth game of the season, the Yeomen outscored Wittenberg 4-2 coming out of halftime to tie the game going into the fourth quarter. Unfortunately the Yeomen hit a cold streak and lost 13-9.
The Yeomen should have an extra incentive to come out fired up on Saturday — none of the current Yeo-laxers have won a conference game in their career.
The upcoming game has also been designated as parent’s weekend, which
should combine with the Yeomen’s typically large crowds to create a
hostile environment towards Wittenberg. Face-off is set for 1 p.m.