Men’s Lacrosse Accentuates Positives of Season
by Channing Joseph

Rounding out the season on a dry note, the Oberlin College men’s lacrosse team fell, 17-2, to the College of Wooster in a home game on May 4. The defeat places the team at a final standing of 0-5 in the North Coast Atlantic Conference and 0-14 overall.
Despite the loss, however, several players made their athletic talent and commitment shine through, particularly first-year Mike McKenna, who scored both of the team’s goals during the recent contest, juniors Sam Bryar and Brian Lange, who each made assists for the Yeomen, and senior Dave Smolev, who concluded his Oberlin lacrosse career with 29 recorded saves in the game, bringing his total number of saves to 310 on the season and his save percentage to an impressive 62.9 percent.

Realizing early on that the team would consist of 12 members and not 14, a smaller retinue than first envisioned, Head Coach Robert Oldham said that he had a made a point throughout the season to urge the players to adopt the viewpoint that their aim as lacrosse players should not necessarily be to achieve victory but to improve as athletes.

“We made a lots of improvements,” Oldham said. “I went into the season knowing we were going to have a limited number of guys. We started with a few less guys than I thought we were going to have. I emphasized that it’s about getting better. It is disappointing that we didn’t win any games. [But] 20 percent of the team had not picked up a stick before. We made some small improvements offensively and, defensively, we remained consistent.”

Oldham is looking optimistically to next season. “I think the guys on the team got along really well,” he continued. “They enjoyed each other’s company, and that’s something to build on for next year.”
Bryar also spoke of the team’s improvements, demonstrating general agreement with the words of his coach and citing that one team member’s notable example was an inspiration for the Yeomen.

“This year we went into the year knowing things would be tough,” Bryar said. “And the guys on the team stood up and met that challenge. There were a lot of times when the odds were definitely not in our favor. I have no doubt that every game those guys went out and poured their hearts out. I know the win column doesn’t say we had the best season, but there’s more to it than that. It was tough going out and losing because we knew it would be Dave’s last game. Dave was great. He was a great leader. He really helped us. He made us better players in that we had someone to look up to. We’re getting better, but it’s hard to show it. I know it because I’m playing with these guys everyday.”

Yet the time for playing lacrosse is still not over, as the current lacrosse team members will be playing a traditional post-season game against alumni opponents this upcoming Saturday, May 11, at 1:30 p.m. in Dill Field.

May 10

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