Men’s Lacrosse upsets Loyola, defeats Lehigh

Dominique Daniels, Senior Writer

A crowd of 1,850 filled Christy Mathewson-Memorial Stadium on the night of April 17. The match versus 16th-ranked Loyola stood as the last regular season home game for the Orange and Blue’s nine seniors. Not only was it Senior Night, it was also Alumni Night, and a school-sponsored tailgate took place. Back again on April 21, for the Patriot League quarterfinals, the Bison also impressively rolled over Lehigh. Needless to say, men’s lacrosse gave their fans all the excitement they could get this week.

Beating Loyola is no easy task. They are one of the few teams in the entire nation to have three 40-point scorers.

Defensemen Ben Kellar ’15 knew the Bison would have to play at their best if they wanted to win.

“Everyone is trying to play their best at this point of the season. We all are trying to build momentum as we head into Patriot League play. Loyola’s offensive attack is one of the top in the country, so we knew it was up to us to match their intensity if we wanted to win this game,” he said.

That they did. The Bison defense played well throughout a 20 minute stretch during which their offense was held scoreless. Through three quarters the Bison were down 7-4.

That 20 minute scoreless drought by the Orange and Blue had the Greyhounds of Loyola feeling well about themselves. It was not until David Dickson ’15 ended the drought with a nice goal to bring the score to 7-5. This goal awoke the crowd and the Bison’s offense. Dickson’s goal was one of six goals that came within the fourth quarter and overtime.

The Bison and Greyhounds swapped goals for the next few minutes, but this all came to a halt when Sam Grinberg ’15 made a crucial save late in the game. His save led to two Bison goals which tied the game at nine , one coming in the final minute by Will Sands ’18, who has continued his great play as of late.

The Orange and Blue defense continued to step up and effect the game in overtime. Feeding off the momentum of Grinberg’s save, Kellar and the rest of the defensive unit pressured Loyola. A great stick check by Kellar gave the Bison possession at a crucial moment.

After a timeout, Dickson fired a great pass to Sean Doyle ’16 who then ripped a shot to the back of the net. After the shot went in, much of the packed crowd rushed the field in celebration.

“I am so proud of my guys,” Head Coach Frank Fedorjaka said. “Especially the seniors, who have worked hard their entire careers. We had some ups and downs this year, but without them this team may have crumbled under the pressure.”

One of those such seniors, Grinberg, made movements again on April 21 in the Patriot League quarterfinal match-up against Lehigh with 13 strong saves. The senior goalie has had a remarkable season on and off the field. In the classroom, Grinberg has also stood out. This week he was named the Patriot League Men’s Lacrosse Scholar-Athlete of the Year.

Grinberg and the Orange and Blue offense came to play versus Lehigh. They opened up the game with a 5-0 lead. This lead, combined with the strong defensive play form the Bison, kept Lehigh from ever feeling in the match. The Mountain Hawks came within four goals by the end of the first half, but as the second half rolled on, so did the Bison. An offensive onslaught by the Bison took their 7-3 halftime lead to a defeating 13-6 score early in the fourth. Doyle and Dickson also contributed goals during this 6-3 stretch.

The Orange and Blue defense gave Lehigh problems all throughout the night. The Mountain Hawks had the advantage in both shots and ground balls, yet could not capitalize. The final score of the game was a 13-8 victory for the Bison. However, the game was never this close. They swamped Dan Taylor of Lehigh, who came into the game as the Patriot League Offensive Player of the Year. His season statistics were outrageous, but the Bison held him to only one goal throughout the night. Grinberg stuffed Taylor twice on what could have been point-blank goals.

With this victory, men’s lacrosse moves on to face rival and No. 2 seeded Colgate in a semifinal game on April 24 at 4:30 p.m. in Annapolis, Md.

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