When Pittsburgh faced Dallas in the Super Bowl, they knew the odds were against them. Northwestern brought a lot of heart and a lot of fans to Pasadena in hopes of stopping USC in the Rose Bowl. Such was the case when the men's lacrosse team faced Ohio Wesleyan, the number three team in the nation. Oberlin knew they weren't favored to win, but gave a valiant attempt anyway. Like Pittsburgh and Northwestern before them, it wasn't enough. Oberlin fell by an unbalanced 28-3.
The Yeomen were at a clear disadvantage. Oberlin's starting goalie was on the sidelines with a fractured thumb. First-year Marc Gilmore's absence on attack, and his lack of practice at goal proved a liability for the Yeomen.
"It's bad to lose, but they are just that good. What's frustrating is that we lost badly because we didn't play well," senior Ryan Kelley explained. Kelley, true to form, led the offense, scoring all of the goals for Oberlin.
Although the Yeomen only scored three, they had many other scoring opportunities Kelley felt they should have capitalized on. The Yeomen's many turnovers, and defensive mental errors hindered their performance.
A better game came against Kenyon College this past Saturday on the road. The Yeomen fell to the Lords 20-8 earlier this season. The team improved on its last effort but still fell 14-9. Kenyon was able to capture most of the second quarter and score what was necessary to pull out the win. Oberlin had trouble clearing the ball, though in the latter half of the quarter Oberlin was able to get some scoring in as well.
The game was even throughout. Oberlin took the lead in the first quarter, but allowed Kenyon to rack up nine goals in the second quarter. Despite the scoring rampage, Oberlin was only down by a few goals throughout the game, and still had the victory within their grasp.
Junior Dave Kumpe said, "We played well, and were happy with the performance, though we were disappointed with the loss."
In a game that was billed as the "Kelley/Cole Shoot-out," Oberlin's Kelley easily dominated the matchup scoring six, with Kenyon's Josh Cole, who previously averaged 6.5 goals a game, scoring only two. Unfortunately for the Yeomen, the rest of Kenyon's team came up big, with their midfielders playing exceptionally well. Their passing was very strong and they worked the ball around well, which led to many goals, including a few in the last minutes.
"We gave a good effort, but couldn't pull it out," said midfielder sophomore Sam Krasnow. Oberlin, with little time remaining, went for the victory by marking up one-on-one against the Lords. This is similar to when a hockey team pulls their goalie; they have nothing to lose. Sadly, this play didn't work in Oberlin's favor, and Kenyon was able to score a few easy goals. The Yeomen did play quite well despite having been hobbled throughout the season with injuries. They look to take that level of play in to the game at Northwood College Saturday. The Yeomen previously defeated Northwood 9-7.
Other than various bones, the Yeomen have also broken an eight-year winning season streak. With these last two losses, the men's lacrosse team has taken itself out of contention to achieve a winning record. Though on the losing side of many match-ups, the Yeomen have squared off well against a number of opponents. They hope to do the same on the road against Northwood Saturday, and the University of Toledo at home next Wednesday at 4:30 p.m.
Copyright © 1996, The Oberlin Review.
Volume 124, Number 23; May 3, 1996
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