WHITTIER, Calif. – The Whittier College men’s lacrosse team’s four game winning streak was snapped this afternoon at four games by the Dutchmen of Union College 11-7 in front of a crowd of 300 plus.
Whittier now drops to 4-1, while Union (NY) improves to 4-1.
The Poets round out their three game home stand with a 2-1 record and now turn their sights on the East Coast as they travel back to Philadelphia for spring break where they will take on:
Swarthmore (Sunday, March 25)
Elizabethtown (Tuesday, March 27)
Messiah (Thursday, March 29)
Cabrini (Saturday, March 31)
Union is the first ranked opponent for the Poets this season and it was a good opportunity for them to show they belong in the top 20 in Div. III. They put out a strong comeback in the third quarter behind three unanswered but it wasn’t enough as the Dutchmen held on late for the four goal victory.
In the first frame, Union jumped out on top 2-0 and maintained a strong pressure defensive stand throughout the quarter making it very difficult for the Poet offense to get any good looks until Kevin Looney found the back of the net thanks to a feed inside from Foster Cunningham with twenty seconds left.
Coming out in the second the Dutchmen continued to play pressure defense allowing just eight shots holding the Poets scoreless and adding two themselves to help go up at the break 4-1.
But in the second half Whittier found their niche on offense and began pouring it on scoring three unanswered as Hunter Hall capitalized off of a man up situation early before Sam Russell and Mike Neumayr added goals themselves to pull the Purple & Gold within one at 5-4.
This got the fans in attendance on the edge of their seats hoping Whittier could tie the game up but Union came down with under five minutes remaining to add two goals that pushed their lead back to three.
In the final quarter the Dutchmen added two quick goals to push their lead to 9-4 but Whittier didn’t go away and added two goals from Looney and Daniel McQuade that pulled the Poets within three once again but that’s as close as they would get as Nolan Connors from Union capitalized off of a man up situation and added a second goal of the frame to push the lead back to five.
With under a minute to go Russell found the back of the net for his second goal of the game but with the ensuing faceoff won by the Dutchmen the Poets’ mini run was stopped as Union held on for the four goal victory.
In a matchup in what was deemed probably the best in Div. III the Poets Robert Bazlen and the Dutchmen’s Sean Aaron competed against each other between the pipes in what many thought were the two best goalies in the nation.
Bazlen finished with nine saves on 20 shots, while Aaron finished with 10 saves on 17 shots.