As we enter the final week of the 2015 NCAC men’s lacrosse season, nationally-ranked Ohio Wesleyan (6-0, 12-0) controls its own destiny for the program’s 19th league championship and its first since 2011. The Battling Bishops, who knocked off arch-rival Denison, 9-8, on Sunday, will close out the regular season with a pair of road contests at DePauw (2-4, 6-7) on Thursday and at Wooster (3-3, 8-5) on Saturday night. The seeds and pairing for the 2015 NCAC Men’s Lacrosse Tournament will be announced next Monday, following the completion of a halted contest between Denison and Wooster.
DENISON, ranked 18th in the most recent USILA national poll, suffered a narrow 9-8 loss against arch-rival and fourth-ranked Ohio Wesleyan on Sunday in Delaware. The loss snaps DU’s three-game winning streak against OWU and its 22-game regular season conference winning streak that dated back to 2011. Sophomore Will Donohue (Charlotte, NC/Latin School) led the Big Red with three goals in the loss, while junior Clark Bullington (Houston, Texas/Strake Jesuit College Prep) made 13 saves in goal for DU.
DEPAUW pushed its school-record win total to six last week by splitting a pair of league contests. DPU dropped a 17-6 decision against Wittenberg on Wednesday, before topping Hiram, 28-2, on Saturday. In the victory over the Terriers, the Tigers posted the best scoring output in program history, while freshman midfielder Andrew Wright (Grosse Pointe Farms, MI/South) also set the individual game scoring mark with seven goals. Wright also scored three goals in the loss against Wittenberg and finished the week with 13 points (10g, 3a) on 17 total shots.
HIRAM dropped a 28-2 contest against DePauw in its only action last week. Sophomore Doug Legris (Fairfax, VT/Bellows Free Acad.) led the Terriers in the loss with one goal and a team-high nine groundballs.
KENYON picked up two wins last week to improve to 8-5 overall on the year. On Wednesday, the Lords got three goals from sophomore Robert Jacobs (Palm Beach Gardens, FL/The Benjamin School) during a crucial 12-6 league victory at Oberlin. KC than traveled to Mount St. Joseph on Saturday and posted a convincing 23-3 win over the Lions, led by a five-goal performance from freshman attack Rory Shoemaker (Millbrook, NY/Millbrook).
OBERLIN turned in a 1-1 record last week, falling 12-6 at home against Kenyon on Wednesday, before regrouping with a commanding 20-1 win at Wabash on Saturday. Junior Nick Lobley (Port Washington, NY/Portledge School) registered a hat trick in both games last week to run his team-leading goal total to 31.
OHIO WESLEYAN, ranked fourth in the most recent USILA national poll, kept its perfect season intact last week with a 25-1 win over Wabash on Wednesday and a thrilling 9-8 triumph over arch-rival and 18th-ranked Denison on Sunday. With the score tied at 8 on Sunday in Delaware, senior attack John Umbach (Montclair, NJ/Montclair) scored with just 19 seconds left in regulation time to lift the Bishops to the victory. Umbach, who also scored the opening goal in OWU’s win over Wabash just six seconds into the game, finished the week with four points (3g, 1a) on eight total shot attempts. In addition, senior goalie Ryan McMahon (Springfield, VA/The Bullis School) made 14 saves for the Bishops in the one-goal victory over DU.
WABASH lost a pair of NCAC contests last week, falling to No. 4 Ohio Wesleyan, 25-1, on Wednesday, before suffering a 20-1 setback against Oberlin on Saturday. Freshman midfielder Zach Scarano (Silver Springs, MD/Montgomery Blair) scored his team-leading 12th goal of the season against OWU, while senior midfielder Zach Darabaris (Crawfordsville, IN/North Montgomery) notched his sixth of the year against the Yeomen.
WITTENBERG picked up a 17-6 home win against DePauw on Wednesday, before collecting a dramatic 12-11 victory at Wooster on Saturday. With the scored tied at 11 in the fourth quarter on Saturday, junior attack Andrew Fuss (New Albany, OH/Gahanna Lincoln) took a pass from junior TJ Smith (Atlanta, GA/The Marist School) with just 2:00 minutes showing on the clock and fired it passed the Wooster goalie for the game-winning goal. Fuss, who had seven total points in the victory over the Scots (3g, 4a), finished the week with 10 points (5g, 5a), 13 shots, four groundballs and one caused turnover.
WOOSTER dropped a heartbreaker against rival Wittenberg on Saturday, as the Tigers scored with just 2:00 minutes left in the game for the 12-11 victory. The Scots did have two good looks at the cage in the final minutes of the game, but they were not able to come up with the equalizer. Freshman goalie Tyler LaCroix (Andover, MA/Loomis Chaffee, CT) made his first career start in the cage for the Scots, totaling 17 saves, five groundballs and one caused turnover.