The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

The student news site of Guilford College

The Guilfordian

Men’s lacrosse headed to the ODAC tournament

The last time men’s lacrosse won a conference game was in 2005. This statistic, however, is partially due to the fact that men’s lacrosse in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) is among the toughest in the country. The Roanoke Maroons are ranked second in the nation with a 14-0 record, while the Washington & Lee Generals are fifth. The Lynchburg Hornets are ranked 17th.

The Quaker victory over the Virginia Wesleyans Marlins at Armfield Athletic Center not only marked their first ODAC win since 2005, but also their first ODAC tournament birth since 2005.

“I was so thrilled for the guys to win that game,” said head coach Andrew Rowe. “Many of them hadn’t experienced a conference win, and with our conference tournament expanding, we put ourselves in a great spot to make our first conference tournament.”

Not only is it important to the current team to make an ODAC tournament appearance, it’s also important for recruiting.

“We play some of the top teams in the country, and that appeals to our recruits that want to come in and play against some of the best there is,” said Rowe.

The Quakers do not know who they will face in the quarterfinals on April 25, but do know that they’ve solidified a 6th seed in the ODAC tournament.

“I want our guys to enjoy (the tournament); part of it will depend on who we end up playing, but all of the pressure will be on who we face,” said Rowe. “We’ll be loose and ready to go for whoever we draw.”

The experience of the tournament will benefit the young team for the future.

“We have a lot of young players that played major roles this year, and we’ll look for them to continue to improve and lead this team to better things,” said Rowe.

Students are beginning to realize that men’s lacrosse is a program to watch. With the future addition of turf as well as making the tournament, Quaker lacrosse is beginning to prove itself.

“I had never been to a college lacrosse game,” said first-year Laura Kopald. “It was so exciting to see our boys beat Virginia Wesleyan with (first-year Chris) Ashcraft’s goal. The final couple minutes were tense and exciting.”

Ashcraft has scored 14 goals and had three assists, second only to first-year Daniel Dowd, who has 20 goals and nine assists.

Offense aside, the Quakers are losing assistant and defensive coach Jake DeCola, but are happy for his new opportunity.

“It will be different with (DeCola) moving on, but I’m extremely happy for him to get a head coaching job and we’ll be excited to bring a new assistant in with some new ideas and concepts,” said Rowe.

The team is looking forward to next year as well, with most players returning. A lack of collegiate experience will no longer plague the Quakers.

“I feel like we’ll be a stronger team next year,” said junior defenseman Charlie Robinson. “We will be more united as a team and (have) better chemistry, since the majority of our team are underclassmen.”

Already, the team has made improvements, and only will get better from here.

“We’ve improved from last year,” said sophomore James Stegeman. “I’m glad to be a part of the team this year. I’m very excited to see what the future holds.

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