Despite facing a rough patch early on in the season, the men’s lacrosse team remains resilient and confident, with a 1-8 record.
For the past few years, men’s lacrosse has been a strong point for Ursinus athletics, consistently competing and pushing for a playoff run. However, this year the team is off to an unusually slow start and they have found themselves in a position they are not very familiar with.
The team has started 1-8 this year with a series of close losses. To the ordinary sports fan that record signifies a lost season, but not to the Bears.
Almost all of those losses have come by an extremely close margin. Their average margin of defeat is just over 3.1 goals per loss. They have had four losses by just one goal, including a one-point loss to then #5-ranked Gettysburg. On top of that, the men’s team has had to play three top ten teams in the nation thus far, two of which were in back-to-back games. That’s a tough line up early in the season.
According to the team’s senior captains, the team has revamped their entire offense and defense and are working out the kinks in a new system.
Senior player Gerard Brown stated, “As a team we are trying to find a new identity.”
Senior Brett Wojtkowiak added, “The seniors from last year were the last players to graduate from the program who were part of [the team’s] 3 year run of dominance . . . including Brian Neff . . . the best player to ever go here. Also, for many players of this year’s team it is their first year starting or getting significant playing time.“
Despite coming up short so far, captains Gerard Brown and Brett Wojtkowiak remain confident in this team’s abilities.
“We know that we are a good team,” said Brown.
According to the senior captains, success is just a matter of finishing off rival teams in the clutch moments of the game and not making the same mistakes twice. Both captains expressed pride in the “never give up mentality” of the team.
The silver lining however is that the season is far from lost for the Bears. They still have plenty of opportunities to make up ground with their last eight games of their season against Centennial Conference (CC) opponents. If the team can manage to win out they can certainly make the conference playoffs.
“Every game from this point on is do or die,” said Brown. The team’s series of conference games began this past Friday, April 6, against McDaniel and will end against Dickinson on the April 28.
Wojtkowiak said, “Team morale is still high and we have not lost sight, even for an instant, of what this team can accomplish.”
Brown and Wojtkowiak have extreme confidence that their team will rise to the pressure and take care of business when needed. If they are able to accomplish their goal of winning out the remainder of the season, the playoffs are certainly within reach, and anything can happen in the playoffs.
The Bears will wrap up regular season play with their final home game against Muhlenberg College on April 25 at 4:00 p.m., and they will then go on the road for their final matchup against Dickinson College.