Men’s lacrosse wins big, keeps eyes on title

Bailey Arango

Photo Credit : Jacobson

The Whitman men’s lacrosse team took down Central Washington University on Ankeny Field Saturday, March 6, by a final score of 18-8. Whitman’s win over CWU is their first of the season following two losses to perennial Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse League powerhouses, University of Idaho and Western Oregon University.

The victory was especially satisfying as the team was still reeling from their Feb. 28 loss to defending league champion, Western Oregon. The loss was particularly heart-breaking as the Missionaries held the lead for the majority of the contest before the Wolves bit back with three fourth-quarter goals––the last of which coming under a minute left––to secure a 10-9 victory.

First-year attacker Aedan Weber spearheaded the Missionaries dominant offensive attack. Weber’s seven goals led all scorers Saturday, and his adept passing and nimble footwork in the offensive zone helped create several other scoring opportunities.

On the defensive end, fellow first-year Ben Skotheim held down the fort on defense, limiting the Wildcats scoring chances to a bare minimum, while initiating the offense from his own end. Skotheim’s effort made helped first-year Luigi Lollini: who put together an exemplary performance as goalie: collect his first college victory.

“It was great to get my first win. I had a lot of fun,” said Lollini. “I can’t wait to get back out there next weekend.”

The beginning of this season finds the Whitman men trying to balance youth with experience, following last season’s unprecedented playoff run that took them to the finals, only to lose in a gut-wrenching double-overtime thriller. Although their current record of 1-2-0 doesn’t look impressive on paper, junior Zach Morrissey says this team has the potential to go all the way.

“We’re expecting to go far this season,” Morrissey said, following a stellar performance at midfield last Saturday. “Last year, we went to our conference championships and lost 10-9 in double overtime. This year, we fully expect to win. We’ve got a much deeper team and play really well.”

Morrissey, who opted not to study abroad this semester in part due to the lacrosse season, believes Whitman has all the pieces in place to take home the title.

“We’re doing really well. The team is having a great time this season and we’ve got some really good freshmen talent along with some other returners who have really stepped up their game this year. We’re only 1-2-0, but our team is showing a lot of promise,” he said.

Despite championship aspirations and a legitimate star performer in Weber, the men’s lacrosse team goes widely unnoticed by the Whitman community at large, but Morrissey says the team is content just to play and continue enjoying club status.

“If we wanted to be a varsity sport our entire league would have to become D3, and that’s not going to happen any time soon . . . Everyday we live and breathe lacrosse,” he said.

The Whitman men’s lacrosse team, which has made the division playoffs every year since 1995, travels to Salem, Ore. this weekend for a showdown with Willamette University. The team will look to build upon their recent success and continue their march towards the Pacific Northwest Collegiate Lacrosse playoffs.