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Men’s Lacrosse Recovers from Sliding Start to Season

After dropping their first two games of the season, the men’s lacrosse team has made a comeback, winning four of their last five games. (Photo by Matt Molek)
After dropping their first two games of the season, the men’s lacrosse team has made a comeback, winning four of their last five games. (Photo by Matt Molek)
As the practice fields begin to dry from the remains of the February snowstorm, the St. Mary’s Men’s lacrosse team returns to top performance with four victories in the five recent matches, an overall 4-3 spread and 1-0 conference record as the Spring 2010 season continues.

The 42-athlete team began the season with a non-conference away game against Roanoke College on Feb. 21. While the Seahawks held strongly against the competition with a 3-3 initial score, repeatedly unanswered scoring streaks from the Maroons left the College with a 11-4 loss by halftime that developed into an eventual 22-7 loss against Roanoke.

The loss was accompanied by a close defeat to Dickinson College on Feb. 27 in non-conference action at the Bullis School, as the Red Devils ended the game with a 7-6 win over the Seahawks. While St. Mary’s showed improvement with a closer spread and a 33-23 lead in ground balls, the loss left the team with a 0-2 record in the first two weeks of play.

A contributor to the rough start of the season was the weather, as the snowstorm that struck the campus in Feb. forced the Seahawks indoors for the first few weeks. “We had been inside for three weeks, playing Roanoke on that third week,” said Chris Hasbrouck, entering his second year as coach for the men’s lacrosse team. “We’ve been rotating in [the gyms of] Somerset, and that’s hard with so many guys.”

Despite the impaired practicing conditions, the Seahawks began a strong attack in the season with a non-conference, away-game victory over Franklin & Marshall College on Mar. 6, as the team turned a 3-1 loss at halftime to a 9-6 victory against the Diplomats.

The win became a three-game winning streak by mid-March, as St. Mary’s won an impressive 17-6 home game against The College of Wooster that preceded a 17-4 non-conference victory over the State University of New York, Plattsburgh State. Junior attackman Dennis Rosson’s 6-0 scoring streak at the start of the Wooster game was accompanied by junior midfielder Chris Morihlatko’s career-high four goals against the Cardinals.

Despite a 10-7 home game loss against the Denison University Big Red on Mar. 17, which brought the Seahawks to a 3-3 non-conference spread, the College recovered the following Wednesday with its first conference win, taking the 10-4 home-game victory over Marymount University on Mar. 24. What began as a 2-2 bind for the first 15 minutes became a 6-2 Seahawks advantage by halftime.
“Defense as a whole is one of our strengths,” said senior midfielder and captain Ryan Alexander. “The team has changed a lot, and we have a lot higher expectations.”

While recovering from the initial season slump, the team is still aware of what it can improve on to make a more impressive season. “Our biggest weakness is consistency,” said Hasbrouck. “We’re still inexperienced in some ways, and at times, we have trouble scoring goals.”
“Our big weaknesses seem to be consistency and goal scoring,” said midfielder Albert Mitchell, now in his first season with the Seahawks. “You can get away with a lot more in high school…but at the college level, you can’t make up mistakes with athleticism.”
Despite the size of the 42-athlete team, the players seem to maintain a strong bond off of the field. “It’s a very close-knit team,” said Hasbrouck. “We see each other around, and you’re bound to see [the players] somewhere,” said Alexander.

Leaving the gyms for outside practices on the drying field, the Seahawks prepare for the next game against Wesley College on Mar. 31, as the Wolverines visit the College for conference action.

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