For the first time all year the Grove City men’s lacrosse team went on a two game road trip and came away with two victories. The two victories marked a successful return to action for the Wolverines who were inactive since their 10-9 double overtime loss to Walsh three weeks ago.
The additional time off gave the Wolverines an opportunity for to heal from the bumps and bruises that accumulate over a long season and re-focus themselves for the critical four game stretch they face to end the regular season. Their opening test came against nationally ranked #22 Washington University – St. Louis.
The game got off to a rough start for the Wolverines who immediately turned the ball over on their opening possession. The Bears then turned miscommunication on the Grove City defensive end into two quick goals. They would add another goal and within the first five minutes of the game the Wolverines were looking up at a 3-0 deficit. Freshman midfielder Will Stumpf finally got the Wolverines on the board with his 8th goal of the year to cut the lead to two, but the goal didn’t have a settling effect on the team. The Bears would respond with a goal of their own and extend the lead right back to three. After that the best thing that would happen to the Wolverines in the first quarter occurred, it ended.
The defense settled down in the second quarter turning the game into a defensive battle. The two teams would trade goals again with Grove City scoring in the second quarter to make the score 4-2 heading into halftime, and Washington converting a man up opportunity to take a three goal lead into the 4th quarter.
Something clicked for the visiting team in the 4th quarter, and after struggling all night the offense found new life. The Wolverines started slowly climbing back into the game and after three consecutive goals the Wolverines found themselves in a tie ballgame for the first time since the opening whistle. With a minute remaining in the game freshman standout Ryan Colby forced a key turnover and in the ensuing battle for the groundball the Bears were flagged for a penalty. Senior captain Tim Irwin connected with sophomore Ryan Althausen who buried a shot to give the Wolverines their first lead of the game with less than 40 seconds to play. The team held on through the Bears last-second offensive flurries to close out the victory.
Senior X-Attackman Kellen Quackenbush led all players with 4 pts (3 goals, 1 Assist) and Sophomore goalie Chris Dymski made 16 saves (.762%) on the defensive end to bail out the Wolverines numerous times. The victory was the first win over a ranked opponent on the year for the team and provided them with a little momentum heading into their game with Lindenwood-Belleville the next day.
The Wolverines jumped out to a 5-0 nothing lead in the first quarter and never looked back. Behind a strong offensive performance by Tim Irwin 6 pts ( 4 goals, 2 Assists) and Will Stumpf’s first career hat-trick the team rebounded from its struggles the night before. Chris Dymski made 13 saves (.867%) and the team concluded its road trip with two victories that doubled their win total from last year and pushed its overall record to 6-4. The team now heads home for two divisional home games against John Carroll and #6 Dayton.