By Aleksei Pavloff, Sports Editor
The Ohio Wesleyan University men’s lacrosse team is facing the end of the spring season and as the NCAC championship draws near, the team is prepared.
“We’re in the conference playoffs next week and we have to take it one game at a time,” said junior goalie Alexander Pacilio.
The OWU lacrosse team currently has the second best record in the conference with only one loss to Denison University this past Sunday,12-8. The Bishops are 9-5 overall this season and received votes in for national ranking, according to ncaa.com. The tough schedule this season is something that is good for the team as a whole, Pacilio said.
“It’s a challenge but have to play these teams since iron sharpens iron,” Pacilio said.
Sophomore defensive starter Jake Worrell said, “We’ve played a lot of tough teams and been really close to beating them. It’s kind of disappointing to not get over the hump yet but it … motivates myself and my teammates.”
Two teams that were the most demanding was Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) and Salsbury, Pacilio said. Both teams are currently in the top 5 rankings, according to ncaa.com. The Bishops lost to RIT 12-11, which was the start for freshman Joey Sichenzia. They also lost to Salisbury 10-6 but there are good things to come out of those games.
“Playing RIT the first game was an exciting experience,” said Worrell. “I know that if we got a shot at either of those teams we could pull a victory. We are a different team now and have gone through so much and we have learned so much and I would love to play either team again.”
The team’s expectations before the season started was to win the NCAC championship, said Worrell. He said he believes that they will see Denison in the championship game.
“Getting another chance to beat Denison is great,” Worrell said. He added that the team has struggled in the past against them but they are committed to correcting past mistakes and executing on their goals. The last scheduled game against the rival was a shootout which Denison came back from a six point deficit.
The post season is fast approaching and Worrell said he thinks that the team has the ability to win big.
“Winning the NCAC is very achievable,” Worrell said. “We have to finish up strong in the regular season first and beat Wooster to secure the second spot and then win our first round game.”
The Bishops have one more game against Wooster April 22. The team has tallied over 190 goals and average about 42.9 shots on opponents goal. The team also is strong in faceoffs winning 206 while losing 137.
Wooster is the Bishop’s last regular season opponent. The last time these two teams met, OWU won 22-6. But the team needs to stay on track, according to Pacilio.
“We have a lot of close games with a bunch of teams in our conference, but we believe if we play OWU lacrosse, it doesn’t matter how other teams play because we dictate our destiny,” Worrell said.