Men’s lacrosse closing in on the postseason

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mens lax1With just one Liberty League game remaining, the men’s lacrosse team finds itself right in the thick of a tight playoff race. The Dutchmen, who have made the playoffs every year since 2007, are 3-3 in league play, tied with RPI and Clarkson for the fourth and final playoff spot, while Vassar sits just behind them at 2-3. Union will head on the road to meet Vassar in the regular season finale on April 29. A 20-1 blowout of last place Bard this past Saturday kept the team’s playoff chances firmly intact. Kerry Lyne ’20, Peter Richardson ’17, John Edmonds ’19 and Eric Zimm ’20 all scored three goals apiece in the Dutchmen’s comfortable victory. Zimm had a team-high six points. The Dutchmen celebrated the team’s 11 seniors before the game as part of the program’s Senior Day festivities. RIT, winners of five straight Liberty League championships, provided a stiffer test two weeks ago, handing Union a 15-8 loss. Goals from Richardson, Edmonds, and Josh Willis ’20 helped the Dutchmen jump out to a 4-1 lead after the first quarter, but RIT dominated from there, scoring 13 times over the next two quarters. “We came out to a great start against RIT, but we started to value the ball a little less throughout the game,” said Jack Scheufele ’17. “Once they started to go on a run we had trouble controlling the ball and cooling their sticks down.” With the playoffs in sight for the Dutchmen, Scheufele is confident the team has another gear. “The thing about being an athlete is you can never really be satisfied. As players, and a team, we have to always want more,” he adds. “This season has been great. We are getting better every day and feeling great with playoffs up close ahead. If we can value the ball and get on top of the 50/50 ground balls, we will hit our stride during the playoffs.” If Union does make the playoffs, Willis’s winning goal with 11 seconds left in overtime against Skidmore on April 12 will be looked back on as a signature moment of the season. Willis’s effort came after the Dutchmen erased a 9-6 deficit late in the fourth quarter. Lyne, the team’s leading goalscorer, struck twice within a 1:08 span, to cut Skidmore’s lead to one. Lyne had five goals on the day, a season-high. Richardson and Eric Gennari ’18 had the assists on Lyne’s fourth quarter tallies. Edmonds set up Willis’s heroics with the tying goal with 4:24 left to play before assisting on the game winner. Jack Santilli ’19 made 10 saves, including one early in overtime. Union stood tall on two separate defensive possessions in overtime before Willis cashed in.

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