Spring Sportlight: Men’s Lacrosse

In an Old Dominion Athletic Conference (ODAC) men’s lacrosse preseason poll, Randolph-Macon was ranked number seven in voting by the league’s head coaches.

According to Michael Romero ’16 and team captain Nick Benhoff ’16, the Randolph-Macon Team is a competitor in arguably one of the “toughest conferences in all of Division III men’s lacrosse.”

Coming off a decent season last year at a record of 9-8 overall and a fifth place finish in the ODACs, the Men’s lacrosse team is looking to have a successful season this year and compete for an ODAC title.

The team is very optimistic looking forward despite losing a group of very strong and talented seniors.

Romero noted that the team is, “an extremely young squad…however, after our fall season and first regular season game we have had several freshmen step into key roles. We also have sophomores returning with a year of experience as starters.”

Romero also credited the group of first year captains they have leading the team this year including seniors Alex Jesmer and Nolan Clark and junior Nick Benhoff.

While, they are all first year captains, Romero noted that they “have certainly settled into their roles.”

Not only does this year look to be a strong and competitive year for the team, but the next few years look to be promising for the program as well.

Moving to the more technical side of the game, Benhoff and Romero discussed how their style of play is very “reliant on everyone on the field and the sideline doing their jobs correctly.”

They also discussed that while their coaching staff is relatively young, they are extremely experienced and are able to really relate to their players and effectively get their messages across.

Both Benhoff and Romero stressed that communication will be the key to having yet another successful season.

“We also need to continue to stress the importance of studying up on the upcoming opponent and executing the game plan” said Benhoff.

Some of the toughest competitors for the team include Lynchburg, Roanoke, Washington and Lee, Hampden-Sydney College, and Virginia Wesleyan, and as Benhoff and Romero described, “any of these teams could make a run in the NCAA tournament.”

The team started their season off with a strong showing last Sat., Feb. 14 at home against Piedmont.

The Yellow Jackets were off to a great start and led Piedmont 4-2 after the first half. However, with an 18-4 shot advantage in the fourth quarter and five goals in the fourth quarter alone, Randolph-Macon came away with their first victory of the season, beating Piedmont, 10-8.

The team competed away at the University of Mary Washington on Wed. Feb.18 and came up short by a score of 7-11.

However, Benhoff and Romero both noted that this would be a test seeing as Mary Washington was a top-10 team in the country last season.

Looking forward, Benhoff and Romero are both very optimistic about not only this upcoming season, but also the future of the program as whole.

“Our biggest challenge will probably be communication amongst players and catching staff. The talent is there, and if we can put the pieces together we will be dangerous.”

The Yellow Jackets continue their season Sat. Feb. 25, at home against Christopher Newport University at 7pm.

-Rebecca Ream ’16, Senior Sports Editor

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