By Brian Klose
Elm Staff Writer
After going through an uncharacteristic winter slump earlier in the season, starting 1-5, the Washington College men’s lacrosse team defeated Centennial Conference rival Muhlenberg 16-10 at home this past weekend. Improving to 5-5 overall and 4-0 in the conference, the victory extended the Shoremen’s season-best win streak to four games. Junior midfielder Sid Looney scored a game-high four goals, senior face-off specialist Michael Trapp dominated on the X, winning 24-28 face-offs. Trapp is currently ranked No. 21 in the nation in face-off win percentage, according to NCAA Statistics.
WC has had no troubling besting Muhlenberg in recent history, and with the Mules struggling all season against conference opponents, the Shoremen had little to worry about. Leading up to the game, the team showed great improvements both offensively and defensively through conference play against McDaniel, Haverford, and Franklin & Marshall. Notably, the team has seen the emergence of two breakout freshmen attackmen, Tanner Barbieri and Tyler Powers, who are both shining as efficient scorers. Sophomore goalie Jackson Szurley has also made the most of his first starts as a Shoremen, keeping opponents under 10 on average and saving nearly 50 percent of shots that come his way.
Against Muhlenberg, Szurley and Powers added to the tremendous team effort that allowed the Shoremen to dominate the first half. Senior attackman Sam Birbaum got WC on the board first with man-up goal, assisted by Looney, within the first three minutes of the first quarter. The Mules answered four minutes later, and after an unsettled goal after a botched face-off, WC was behind 2-1. It would be Muhlenberg’s only lead of the game. The Shoremen eventually headed into halftime with a staggering 12-4 lead. During the scoring surge, senior attackman Stephen Luck scored two of his three total goals of the game, leaving him with 21 goals on the season so far.
WC’s offense in the first half was the best it had looked all season. The 12 first half goals were more than the Shoremen had scored all season in a single game.
The second half was a slightly different story offensively. While Birnbaum and Luck quickly scored the first two goals of the half, the Mules stopped the bleeding and went on a 6-1 scoring spree that significantly cut into the Shoremen’s comfortable lead. Three of the allowed goals came during man-up situations for the Mules, an area where WC has showed inconsistency all season.
Regardless of the sluggish second half performance, the Shoremen came out on top 16-10, statistically dominating the Mules in shots, ground balls, and face-off wins.
Washington College returns to action as they face No. 18 Ursinus in a critical conference match up that could boost the Shoremen’s momentum looking forward to No. 13 Salisbury on April 18 and No. 3 Gettysburg April 25.