By Jake Loel
The University of Dallas men’s lacrosse team hit the road last weekend for its final two games of the season. The team traveled without several key players, including sophomores Nicholas Baeza and P.J. Hasson and freshman Aidan Mebane, all of whom are out due to concussions, as well as senior Charles Shaughnessy.
The first game was against the Fontbonne University Griffins in Clayton, Miss. Despite a strong first quarter, the Crusaders could not hold off the second-half onslaught by the Griffins, losing 27-7.
According to the UD athletics website, the last time the Crusaders faced the Griffins was in 2012, when senior midfield/attack player Cody Wooten was a freshman.
In the first quarter, things were looking up for the Crusaders, and they took an early lead thanks to senior Zack Wellwerts’ extremely early goal, assisted by junior midfielder/attack player Matthew Cyr. The point was scored just 56 seconds into the game. The Griffins answered with a goal several minutes later, only to let in two goals from Wooten and Cyr. Despite the impressive beginning to the game, the Griffins went on a short scoring spree in the final few minutes of the quarter, ending the first quarter with a 4-3 lead on the Crusaders.
The second quarter showed the exhaustion of the Crusaders, who had spent the better part of Friday afternoon on a bus driving to Missouri. The Griffins managed to score seven points to the Crusaders’ one, a point netted by junior midfielder Alex “Zio” Ziolkowski.
Although Cyr netted two and Wooten one in the third quarter, the Griffins were still able to widen their lead with six points.
In the final quarter, the Crusader defensemen were obviously exhausted, and let in a whopping 10 points, while the Crusaders were unable to score a single point. In the end of the fourth quarter, junior goalkeeper Ryan Murphy was given a penalty and had to leave the game, but backup goalkeeper Mebane was concussed and could not play, so head coach Keith Lindgren was forced to put sophomore Jacob Tom in the goalkeeper position.
The next day, the Crusaders fell 0-22 to the Titans of Illinois Wesleyan. But despite a difficult weekend, the Crusaders do have some things to be proud of.
In Lindgren’s first season, he coached the Crusaders to the most wins in a season (five) in the history of the program. This is extremely impressive, considering that the program was unable to field a team last year for want of players. According to the athletics website, the most winning coach of all time for the Crusaders is Matt O’Connell, who coached the Crusaders from 2011 to 2012. In his two seasons, he had won only seven games, while Lindgren has led his Crusaders to five wins in his inaugural season.
In addition, there was a handful of impressive athletes on the team. Cyr, despite spending much of his time studying for the MCAT, still managed to find time to become the team’s scoring leader. And Murphy, whose goalkeeping skills put him among UD’s record holders, is also the NCAA leader for saves per game, as of April 19, according to udallasathletics.com. In addition, Murphy shattered the posted school record of 187 saves in a season, set by Blaise DuFrain in 2012.