Men’s lacrosse is off to a slow start this season, currently sitting at a 2-4 record after a difficult series of games. They picked the first of their two wins early into the season in a blowout against Mercer University and in their most recent outing, a 6-4 defensive battle where the Retrievers gained the edge with a four goal performance by freshman Ryan Frawley, which earned him America East Conference Men’s Lacrosse Rookie of the Week honors.
So far, the majority of the team’s season has been plagued by tough road matchups. The season opener was on the road against defending NCAA champions and fourth ranked University of North Carolina, at Chapel Hill, followed by an intense rivalry game against seventh ranked Johns Hopkins University. Both games resulted in one sided losses, with the Retrievers falling by a combined score of 32-11. The team followed those losses with a game against the also high voted Richmond University, where they managed to fight to keep it close with a 10-5 loss.
The Retriever’s season is at its halfway mark and men’s lacrosse is looking to turn their season around in intense conference play. On Saturday, March 18, the team will begin conference matchups with a road game against Stony Brook University (currently ranked at 14th in the nation) before finishing their season up with yet another road game, as they travel to face the University of Michigan.
Despite the frustrations the team has faced in the early part of the season, it has been a great year for the team’s youth to plant their cleats in the field. Frawley is helping out by tying the team for leading in goals, while getting support by fellow freshman Mitch Howell who has four points in the early part of the season and sophomore Jack Andrews whose nine points are second on the team.
This young guard that leads the Retrievers is getting a lot of guidance from senior Max Maxwell, who leads the team with eight goals and nineteen points. Rising junior Max Haldeman has managed to put away five goals in the front half of the season, and is also helping out the younger core on the offense as he prepares for his final season next year.
The Retriever defense has been heavily tested through the early part of the season, conceding 46 goals in February. However, as the competition slowed down, the Retrievers have bolstered their defensive positioning, conceding only twelve goals in the first half of March. The defense, also, has a very young core, relying on sophomores Billy O’Hara and Jason Brewster to lead the team in caused turnovers.
The young freshman midfielder Jake Brothers has been reliable with ground balls and has taken face offs for the team. Which is why he also earned the America East Conference Rookie of the Week accolade on Feb. 13.
Head coach Ryan Moran has to hope that the early tribulations the team has went through will be a learning experience for a young, raw Retriever core. The team will spend April playing heated conference battles and will hope that their upperclassmen leadership can help guide the underclassman core through all of the rigors of the America East Conference play when it starts off against Stony Brook.