Men’s lacrosse looks to compete in first NEWMAC champs

After a tremendous 9-3 start, the Lyons find themselves with a 10-6 overall record and a 4-3 record in conference action. In recent competitions, a close game against Roger Williams was followed by a win against Coast Guard and three tough conference losses to Babson, Springfield, and MIT, respectively. Freshman Scott Whear ’18, who had 20 goals in just 6 games played, went down with an injury that put him out early in the season and was a devastating knock at the time for the Lyons.

“Scott changes the game when he’s in there,” said sophomore teammate Kyle Neale ’17. The talent throughout the roster along with numbers helped the team continue to compete at a high level and bounce back from the loss of Whear for the season. “Our depth has bailed us out this year and Devin Higgins ’17 replacing Scott wasn’t a step down at all” said Neale.

Babson and Springfield looked like the better teams on their days but it seemed like the Lyons let one slip against MIT. “We really wanted to get back on track against MIT after the Babson and Springfield losses,” said Sophomore Ryan Gjerset ’17. “We started off the game with four goals in the first quarter and got shut out until the third quarter. That can’t happen.”

Gjerset went on to express that he believed they were a good enough team to beat all three of those recent conference match-ups but it just didn’t show in their performance when it came down to the wire. Beating MIT would have given the Lyons the third spot in the upcoming NEWMAC tournament but instead the loss placed the Lyons in the fourth spot. They will look to regroup in the rematch against Babson on Wednesday night away in Wellesley, Massachusetts.

The team’s most recent game was this past weekend against Mass. Maritime, on a clear Saturday night on Nordin Field. The program, along with Wheaton athletics, honored seniors Alfonse Femino ’15, Matthew Hillman ’15, and Joon Suh’15 for their dedication to helping build the Wheaton lacrosse program and strengthen it every year. Their contributions have helped the team compete in the NEWMAC conference, a goal the program has strived to achieve, and currently contest for a post-season bid into the conference tournament.

Hillman, who leads the team in scoring this season with 34 goals, scored five goals to lead the scoring chart for the Lyons on Saturday night in the eventual 15-7 finish against Mass. Maritime. He scored his 100th career goal earlier this season and currently has 122 goals total with 184 total points.

This has been an encouraging year for the young Lyons squad who are only graduating three players after this 2015 season. They came into the year with the hopes of making and winning the NEWMAC Championship and are closing in on fulfilling that goal.

Wheaton will play their final conference match against Babson this week and will potentially be competing in their first NEWMAC Championships in program history this upcoming weekend under head coach Jamie Lockard in his four season spell.