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Men's lacrosse lack of offense results in loss to Oneonta

by Paul Cifonelli - Staff Writer
Wed, Apr 3rd 2019 02:00 pm
Junior midfielder Corey Choberka soaks a check from an Oneonta defender while carrying the ball.
Junior midfielder Corey Choberka soaks a check from an Oneonta defender while carrying the ball.
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The College at Brockport men’s lacrosse team desperately needed wins headed into spring break. It began the season 1—3 and only had three games remaining before conference play started. Things were beginning to look bleak for the Golden Eagles until the games were actually played.

Brockport took the opportunity to build momentum and ran with it. They first dispatched Baldwin Wallace University on the road, 12-9. Concordia University Wisconsin took on the Golden Eagles next. Brockport took another close game, this one at home, by a score of 8-6. The final game of the week took place at Lycoming College. Once again, the Golden Eagles won, scraping by in a 7-5 nail-biter.

Even though the offense was just good enough throughout the week, there were two notable performers. Sophomore attacker Liam O’Connor scored six goals and tallied three assists to propel Brockport’s attack. O’Connor hammered home five of his six goals in the game against Baldwin Wallace. Additionally, sophomore attacker Patrick Sheridan recorded five goals and one assist in the three contests.

The three wins not only pushed the Golden Eagles’ record to 4—3, but gave the team confidence going into conference play. O’Connor knew that the difficult non-conference games would help the team once they began playing tough SUNYAC teams.

“The games over spring break really help show this young but talented team that we have the potential and confidence to beat anyone in the SUNYAC,” O’Connor said. “With the slow start we had to the season, we were struggling. But with the three games over spring break, we found some momentum.”

Oneonta, Brockport’s first conference opponent, has gotten off to a slightly better start than the Golden Eagles in 2019. The Red Dragons entered the matchup with a 5—5 record but had also not played any league games. Last season, the Red Dragons defeated the Golden Eagles in Oneonta in the last regular season game of the year.

Saturday’s matchup with Oneonta ended up with a similar result to the last time the two teams met. The Red Dragons came out on the offensive in the first half and built a sizable lead by halftime. Oneonta took a 7-3 lead into the break due to a lopsided second quarter. Sophomore midfielder Max Riley, O’Connor and Sheridan all found the back of the net for Brockport during the rocky first half.

Once the second half came around, the two sides had evened up. The Red Dragons still outscored Brockport in the second half, but the damage was not as severe as the first half. When the final horn sounded, Oneonta had secured an 11-6 victory in its first league game.

Dropping the first league contest is tough, especially in such a rigorous conference. In order to get back in the win column, the offense needs to produce more goals on a more consistent basis. Riley expressed this sentiment after the game.

“The offense has a lot of work to do,” Riley said. “It is very difficult to beat a team with only six goals on the board. We cannot rely on the defense to carry the game for us. They played the best they could, but the offense couldn’t produce.”

Since the team knows what it needs to work on to win the games that matter the most, expectations for improvement will be high. Oswego, Brockport’s next opponent, will not be a pushover. Oswego and Brockport had a similar league record last season, but the Lakers were far superior in games outside of the conference. The narrative is very similar this season.

The Golden Eagles know their offense will need to show up in order to come away with a victory. Despite the tough loss, Riley feels as though it is the only thing keeping this team from being a major contender in the SUNYAC.

“It’s difficult to forget a loss like this but that is what we need to do,” Riley said. “It’s over with and we need to focus on Oswego. There is a lot of talent and potential on this team and when we figure out how to play as a unit, we will be a real threat in conference play.”

The Golden Eagles’ home game against Oswego is its only matchup this week. The game takes place on Saturday, April 6 at 2 p.m. In addition to being a SUNYAC game, it is also the team’s Lax vs Cancer game.