Men’s Lacrosse Battles to Remain Undefeated in NCAC

Miles Rochester

Sports Editor

 

 

 

The Scots’ men’s lacrosse team continued their perfect start to conference play this past Sunday with a 10-8 triumph over long-distance rivals DePauw. Despite an inconsistent start to the season, during which Wooster was handed losses in consecutive games, the facts of this victory may lead one to believe that Wooster’s men are finding their groove.

The first quarter was a back-and-forth battle that saw two different players from each team finding the net. Scoring was initiated in the fourth minute by DePauw, but Wooster would not let its poor start dictate the remainder of the game. Almost exactly two minutes later, Ben Byars ’24 leveled the score with some help from fellow classmate Charlie Ballou ’24. 

After getting on the score sheets, a fire was lit within the hearts of the Scots. This fire, along with an extra man opportunity provided them with a chance to take the lead. A flurry of shots was fired in the direction of DePauw’s goalkeeper, but only one found the intended target and it was saved. Soon after, the dominating Scots were countered and scored on, putting DePauw’s Tigers up 2-1. Facing another deficit, the Scots once again showed their grit and determination by taking back a goal for themselves, this time in less than a minute. It was Will Fink ’25 who pocketed the second goal, set up by Vinny DiLeo ’24. Fans were at the edge of their seats, struggling to keep warm, but remained intrigued and reheated by their home side’s resilience. However, in the final four minutes of the first quarter, DePauw’s attack began to find rhythm, as they posted five total shots, one of which was on goal but saved by goalkeeper Paul Chandler ’24.

The second quarter started in a very similar fashion with DePauw scoring after five minutes of play, followed by an immediate Wooster response. This time, it was an unassisted DiLeo who scored his 17th goal of the season to tie the game. The stalemate was broken soon after when the Tigers took the lead for a fourth time in the first half. Wooster faced the pressure of trailing once again.

The only thing more impressive than Wooster’s ability to quickly earn back goals was DePauw’s inability to hold on to a lead for more than two minutes. Less than 30 seconds later, Ben Kennedy ’22 found the net and tied the game for a final time. With eight minutes left in the first half, the game seemed to be in the hands of DePauw. The aggressive Tigers offense pummeled Chandler with shots, but the sturdy goalkeeper refused to allow a goal. A much-needed timeout was called by Wooster with 4:12 remaining and 30 seconds after play resumed, Ballou and Byars linked up once again to give the Scots their first lead of the game. Wooster, unlike its opponent, would not let its lead slip. With only a minute left on the clock, Ballou found Kennedy who launched the ball into the back of the goal to double the lead. Halftime was called with Wooster holding a 6-4 lead.

In the third, DePauw was in desperate need to regain control of the game and they got off to a great start by scoring within the first minute of play. The Scots, however, did not lose their focus, and determined to send DePauw home defeated, the Scots buckled down and went to work. The next 10 minutes saw both teams struggling to score, but after five shots, including a save by the post, Wooster’s Fink fired a shot past the keeper to lengthen the home side’s lead to two. Shortly after, a Ballou goal extended the advantage to three to finish off the quarter.

A fired-up Fink scored first in the fourth to complete his hat trick, and with Wooster up four, the game seemed to be finished. DePauw thought otherwise. Three unanswered goals provided hope for the tenacious Tigers. However, the Tigers’ hopes for a comeback were ultimately dashed by Byars, who, already having netted the Scots’ first goal, went on to score the final goal of the game. After a long, contentious battle, it was Wooster who came out on top, winning 10–8.

Wish the Scots luck as they hit the road to face a formidable Denison team this upcoming Saturday, April 5.