By Nina Zimmerman
For their first on-field action of the 2013 season, the Lords lacrosse team headed to Beverly Hills Michigan, that is to face Albion College. Despite leading the Britons 8-5 at halftime, the Lords could not hang on and had to settle for a 9-10 loss.
We went up fairly quickly, and then our execution just suffered and we allowed them to get back into the game a little, Head Coach Doug Misarti said. I give [Albion] credit, they took advantage of our errors and found a way to beat us.
The game started off on a good note. Goals from Will Lowe 14, Ross Mauck 15, Nicky Lenard 15 and two from Justin Coleman 15 gave the Lords a 5-2 advantage after the first quarter, and the Lords added to their lead with three more goals by Lenard, Coleman and Fritz Waine 15 in the second quarter. Unfortunately for the Lords, the Britons battled back hard, tying the game at the end of the third quarter and scoring the winning shot halfway through the fourth. Misarti said the team can look at the game as a learning experience. I think we didnt play as well as a team on Saturday as we should have, he said. But we have a talented group. Saturday was disappointing, but at the same time I think we learned a lot from it and I think were going to be a better team for it.
The Lords April schedule will be a little different than in years past, thanks to a new conference championship tournament. Last year, both Hiram College and DePauw University added mens lacrosse to their varsity lineups, giving the North Coast Athletic Conference enough teams to host such a tournament.
The sports just growing like gangbusters nationwide, Misarti said. Its the fastest-growing sport in America, and at the small-college level its growing at the rate of, I believe, six to 10 new programs per year in Division III.
The addition of the conference tournament shifts the focus of the Lords season to their conference play in April, according to Misarti. [It] used to be every game was kind of a one-game playoff, where if this was last season and we lost [the Albion game], that would affect our consideration for a national tournament bid, he said. But now its a regular season game outside of conference. Certainly the loss hurts and we wanted to win the game, but for the ultimate goal of winning the conference it doesnt affect that one bit.
The Lords will next take on two non-conference challenges. The team will travel to Salem, Va., to play 11th-ranked Roanoke College. Playing a nationally ranked team will be a good test for the Lords this early in the season, especially since rival Denison University is ranked right above Roanoke at 10th. After Roanoke, the Lords will return home to Gambier to take on Washington and Jefferson College in their first home game of the season on Tuesday, Feb. 26 at 3:00 p.m.
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