BY BENJAMIN DIXON, Managing Editor
BUENA VISTA, VA – The Wolves lacrosse team played their first game of the season on Friday March 2, taking a loss to Southern Virginia University of the SELC, 6-4.
The wet, cold, and windy conditions were not what the Wolves expected on their annual spring break trip, but they came out firing, taking a 2-0 lead in the first quarter. Early in the game the Wolves were able to keep possession of the ball and dominated the ground ball battle. SVU scored their first goal of the game with three minutes left in the first quarter.
The second quarter was quite the opposite, as SVU would rattle off three additional unanswered goals in a two and a half minute stretch to carry a 4-2 lead into halftime. The Wolves controlled the ground ball game once again in the third quarter, leading to more possession time. Attackman Dane Haskin was able to finish off a feed from freshman midfielder Alex Fitzgerald, fighting back within one point of SVU, 4-3.
A costly fourth quarter penalty by Wolves’ goalie Andy Wahl allowed the Knights to score again with just over seven minutes left in the game. The Wolves would not score again until 23 seconds remained, when attackman Dylan Hatcher pushed the cage for his second goal of the day.
The Wolves had plenty of chances to take the lead and close the door on the Knights in the third and fourth quarters, as the Knights racked up 8 penalties to the Wolves’ 3. Lack of execution by the Wolves and a stout defense by the Knights denied the Wolves on every man-up opportunity of the game.
The Wolves took on the University of New Haven Chargers in their second game of the weekend, resulting in a loss, 8-6. After a long game the day before, the Wolves would take a fresh New Haven squad deep into the fourth quarter with a 6-6 tie. Hatcher had a career day, netting 5 of the 6 Wolves goals, two of which were assisted by Haskin, who made the move from midfield to attack this year.
The Chargers jumped out to a quick 2-0 lead in the first quarter, taking advantage of poor communication on behalf of the Wolves’ defense. Hatcher answered with three straight goals, giving the Wolves a 3-2 lead early in the second quarter. The Chargers and Wolves would trade goals until the 4 minute mark of the fourth quarter, when a Wolves man-up opportunity went awry with a dropped pass and quick transition goal for the Chargers. The Chargers would seal the deal on a failed clearing attempt and another transition goal at the two minute mark, taking an 8-6 lead.
Though Wahl was able to make 10 saves, including a cross-crease diving stop, man-up performance was once again an issue for the Wolves going 0-4 in the final four-minute stretch of the game.
The Wolves will make the long haul back to Michigan and gear up for their first home game of the season against Northwood University on Wednesday, March 21, at 7:00pm. The game will be played at Groves High School in Birmingham, MI.