Men’s Lacrosse Wins Program Record Seventh Straight

MLAX Wins 7th StraightThe men’s lacrosse team continued their winning ways this past week with two victories. Monmouth’s first win was against Virginia Military Institute (VMI) on Monday, April 10. Their second victory took place against Detroit Mercy in Detroit, MI on Saturday, April 15.

The Hawk’s set the tone early against VMI, scoring twice within the opening 30 seconds en route to a 15-8 win. Credit goes to freshman midfielder Justin Schwenk for the first goal and junior midfielder Chandler Vanderbeek for the second. From there the Hawks would score four more unanswered goals to put themselves up 6-0 by the end of the first quarter.

Monmouth added four more goals to VMI’s one before the half was up and cruised into half with a comfortable 10-1 lead.  The Keydets, however, did not go down without making the game a little interesting. VMI chipped away at the lead over the course of the third quarter by scoring five goals to Monmouth’s three to make it a 13-6 contest.

The Hawks quickly reestablished a comfortable lead in the fourth quarter by netting two goals to build their lead to nine. VMI would score the final two goals of the game but at that point it was too little too late. When the clock expired it was the Hawks who came away with the 15-8 win.

“There are a lot of names I can rattle off that played really well, even in limited time,” Head Coach Brian Fisher said after the game. “It was good to hold them to a low score in the first half which gave us the opportunity to play some more guys. The focus in which we had got us off to a good start and getting more guys in there made it a fun game.”

Saturday’s slate against Detroit Mercy saw the Hawks jump out to an early 5-0 lead and proceed to have to stave off a late game push from Detroit Mercy to secure their first win against the Titans in four meetings.

The Hawks never gave up the lead but the Titans were able to cut the deficit to one with nine minutes left on the clock. Monmouth responded by scoring two goals, courtesy of senior attacker Dan Bloodgood and junior attacker Bryce Wasserman, who was named Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference (MAAC) Player of the Week on Tuesday, April 18.

The Hawks successfully defended the lead from there and when the clock was zero, the scoreboard read 11-8, Hawks. With the win, the Monmouth successfully secured a place in the MAAC Tournament for the third year in a row and achieved their first 10 win season in program history.

“We showed some toughness this afternoon in how we were able to overcome some stretches in the second half where we were not at our best, particularly in the third and fourth quarters,” Fisher said. “It was great to see the team respond the way we did after a little adversity and close out the game. It’s really exciting to be in the position we are in at this point of the season and while we are excited about where we currently are, we are looking forward to our next game and playing at home under the lights on Friday night.”

The program as whole continues to improve every single year. The program, which was first added in 2013-2014, resulted in a winless season. The seniors on this year’s team were freshman that year and the progress that has been made is a testament to their leadership and grit.

“Coach Fisher does a great job in instilling what we call a championship mentality,” senior defender Andrew Grajewski said. “We came from a winless season our freshman year so we knew what that feels like and we want to win championships for this school and our coach who started the program.”

With the pair of wins, Monmouth remains undefeated in MAAC play. The Hawks will look to extend their program-record seven-game winning streak on Friday, April 21 as they will take on Canisius on senior night at Hesse Field at 7 p.m. The game will be broadcasted on ESPN3.

PHOTO COURTESY of Rene Schleicher