By Greg Stevenson
For the fifth consecutive season, the men’s lacrosse team will continue to play into the postseason. The Bison earned a berth in the Patriot League Tournament after beating the Holy Cross Crusaders 10-3 at home last Saturday. The victory gave the Orange and Blue their ninth win of the season, tied for most in the nation as of Wednesday, and kept their perfect 3-0 conference record intact.
“It always feels good to win at home, and beating a league opponent makes it that much sweeter,” Jordan Nies ’11 said. “Holy Cross has struggled this season, so it was important that we held a strong lead against them in order to post a decisive win.”
Led by goalie Kyle Feeney ’13 and an experienced line of defense, the Bison turned in another spectacular defensive performance, holding the Crusaders to just one goal until the five-minute mark in the final quarter. The Bison have allowed just seven goals per game in 2011, good enough for seventh in the nation and top in the Patriot League.
On the offensive end, the Bison dominated the Crusaders throughout the first half. Despite a slow start, the Orange and Blue opened the scoring with three minutes left in the opening quarter with a goal from Nies.
In the second quarter, the Orange and Blue outscored the Crusaders 6-1 to put a close game out of reach. Chase Bailey ’13 tallied the first two goals of the quarter for the Bison, both coming when the Orange and Blue were playing with a man advantage after a Holy Cross penalty. Peter Burke ’14 added to the Bison lead midway through the period with his first goal of the contest.
Mike Danylyshyn ’11 registered two of his three goals at the end of the second quarter, and Charlie Streep ’12 scored with eight seconds remaining to end an impressive first half with the Orange and Blue up 7-1.
Trailing by six at halftime, Holy Cross had no answer for a stingy Bison defense in the second half. The Crusaders went scoreless for over 25 minutes to open the half, allowing the Orange and Blue to push the lead to 10-1. Holy Cross would score twice in the final minutes, but it would not be enough to catch the Bison, as the Crusaders fell 10-3.
Offensively, the Orange and Blue used an all-around dominating performance to defeat the Crusaders. Eight different Bison recorded either a goal or an assist against Holy Cross, and three, Danylyshyn, Burke and Bailey, scored at least twice in the game.
The Orange and Blue remain tied at first with Colgate in the Patriot League with three league games left, including a head-to-head match-up with the Raiders in the final game of the season.
The win assures that the Bison will have a spot in the Patriot League Tournament in a few weeks. Even though the Orange and Blue have made the playoffs, bigger and better things are on the minds of the Bison.
“It feels good to be back in the tournament, but our goal is to win out and host the Patriot League tournament,” Feeney said.
Up next for the Orange and Blue is another crucial Patriot League match-up, this time against the Black Knights of Army, this Saturday in West Point, N.Y.
“We are also not satisfied as of right now,” Ryan Klipstein ’11 said. “We enter this weekend playing our biggest game of the year against Army and it will begin a three-game in-league away series that we must do well in. We intend on pushing harder than ever to run the table on these upcoming games and host the tourney.”