By KEVIN BOILARD
The Eagles cruised past Hood College, 12-6 last Saturday, April 14 and now have their sights set on taking down York College in their regular season finale.
The University of Mary Washington men’s lacrosse team proved early on that they were too much to handle for the host Blazers when the Eagles shot out to a 4-0 lead in the first quarter.
Throughout the matchup, UMW would continue to extend that lead, which eventually reached 12-2 early in the fourth quarter.
Junior midfielder Sean Dacey, sophomore midfielder Chip Pittard and sophomore attackman Billy Kelly each netted two goals in the victory. Junior attackman Paul Tunick led the way with four points on the day, as he recorded a goal and three assists.
“They had a big goalie,” Tunick said. “So I was always looking for the ‘one more’ pass to the backside where the net would be open.”
With the team already up by double-digit goals in the fourth quarter, Head Coach Kurt Glaeser was content with what he had seen from the starters and decided to give some of the reserves some repetitions.
“Overall, I thought we played pretty well,” Glaeser said after the game. “I was really happy that we were able to get everyone a little bit of playing time.”
With many of the Eagles’ reserves on the field, the Blazers scrapped back to make the score respectable by scoring four straight goals before the final buzzer, bringing the final score to a rest at 12-6.
After defeating Hood, Glaeser and his squad quickly turn their attention toward a midweek matchup versus York, which took place yesterday afternoon. Both teams sat at 4-3 in conference play before their April 18 game, with the winner of that contest awarded the no. 4 seed and home field advantage in the first round of the upcoming Capital Athletic Conference Tournament.
“Either way, we’ll be seeing York in the first round,” Glaeser said. “We want to get a win on Wednesday because we’ll have to go back to York on Sunday if we lose.”
Last year, the Eagles blasted the Spartans in the final game of the regular season by a score of 17-5, but that match was held in Eagle country and the rosters have seen some turnover since then. The trip to York is upwards of three hours and will test the Eagles’ mental endurance.
Dacey, the team’s captain, believes that there is enough at stake for the team to remain mentally prepared on the long bus ride.
“We don’t want to make that long bus ride twice,” Dacey said. “We want the home field advantage for the first round of the playoffs and we won’t get that if we lose.”
On Wednesday, the Eagles’ defense will be faced with shutting down Spartans’ leading scorer Tyler Hutson, who already has 54 points (41 goals, 13 assists) on the season.
Coach Glaeser is confident in his team’s ability to go up to York and return home with a victory under their belt.
“It’s an advantage to play at home for the most part, but we’ve been a decent road team as well,” Glaeser said.
Glaeser may have understated his team’s excellence while traveling. The Eagles are solid home team with a 4-3 record, but the men’s lacrosse team has been road warriors this season with an impressive 5-1 mark in games away from the Battleground confines.
While Salisbury and Stevenson will rest for the first round on Sunday, April 22, the Eagles played York College of Pa. last night. They came from behind to win 11-10 with a go-ahead by Luke Dick with ten minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.