Adversity. That is one of the ways to describe this season for the Elizabethtown College men’s lacrosse team.
Last season, the team had an overall record of nine wins and seven losses and a record of six wins and five losses in the MAC conference.
Many veterans of the team are stepping into bigger roles, and younger players are making significant contributions by getting a lot of playing time early in their Etown career.
This season, the team has played with as much passion as any Blue Jay team; however, they have been on the losing end of some close games. A 5-4 loss to Lebanon Valley College on March 31 was a stinger for the team. After a heartbreaking 8-7 loss in overtime at Lycoming April 5, the team started out conference play with two losses.
With two important games last week against conference rivals Messiah and Albright, the team was hoping to get back into the playoff hunt.
Wanting to avoid an 0-3 record in the conference against Messiah, the team had a great performance. Junior midfielder Cory Boushell had a hat trick to cap off a 10-8 victory for the Blue Jays over the rival Falcons. Sophomore Derek Kline also had two goals in the game, to make it number ten on the season. Senior Sean O’Neill had two goals along with an assist in the game. Seniors Dan Patton and Shawn Corcoran and junior Donnie Krause also contributed for the Jays with one goal each.
In their second game of the week against Albright, the Lions scored the first two goals of the game, then Blue Jays Corcoran and senior Greg Cauceglia scored on unassisted goals to tie the game at two goals. Another two goals by the Lions were answered by two more by the Blue Jays. Both teams were even through the first half with five goals apiece.
In the second half, the Lions separated themselves from their conference foes with five goals in the third period while the Jays could not score, and Albright ended up with the victory 13-7.
With a 1-3 record in the conference, the Blue Jays have a tough road ahead of them in the last few weeks of the season. With three road games remaining in the regular season, the Blue Jays need to win out and get some help along the way from other teams if they are to get to the playoffs.
Corcoran, one of the leaders on this Blue Jay team, has a team-high 15 goals and is second on the team with 19 points this season. He knows that it has been a challenging year; however the team chemistry is there through thick and thin. “The main thing is to remain positive, that facilitates a bond between all classes and the age difference. We try to do different things together, and we really try to build team unity,” Corcoran said.
With this being possibly the final three games of his college career, he knows that every game is crucial for the team to keep their playoff hopes alive, and it all begins with practice. “Preparation and practice will be key,” he continued.
Being a senior, Corcoran feels that the legacy of his class, that has a combined 39 wins along with a regular season championship in 2010 on their resume, will be one to remember and will serve as a guideline to success for future lacrosse teams.
Corcoran added, “The legacy the senior class will leave is dealing with adversity in a positive manner and leaving a program that has a good work ethic on and off the field. We want to establish an atmosphere that is positive. As with any athletic team, it is a privilege, and we cannot take it for granted.”
The Jays rebounded from Saturday’s loss with a crucial win over the Alvernia University Crusaders Tuesday. At half time Etown held a close 4-2 margin. However, the offense roared to life in the second half, especially in the fourth quarter, to end the game at 18-4. Corcoran led the team in points with three goals and two assists.