Men’s lacrosse takes tough loss
A hard fought game reflects a season-long characteristic
For a team ineligible for the playoffs, the Flames men’s Lacrosse team competed against the defending SELC champions, the Elon University Phoenix, Friday night like champions.
I think that we are ready for our game,” head coach Kyle McQuillan said. “As a coach you will always think that there is something more you can do to prepare, but the team has worked very hard this season and should be very proud of everything they have accomplished.”
With a record of 4-3, the Flames fought for a win to end the season above .500.
“I feel like we have sent a very clear message this season that Liberty University Lacrosse is a real competitor, and we hope to reinforce that tonight,” McQuillan said. “It should be a good test of how far we have come.”
The field lights warmed up as the sun set over the distant mountains. Fans filled the bleachers and grass along the sideline, cheering as the ball went from one end of the field to the other.
“The support and amount of interest in this program has been huge, so our expectations for next year are just as big, and I am very excited about our future,” McQuillan said.
With the score 3-1 at the end of the first period, the Flames needed to do something to get their heads in the game. However, with an early goal by Elon in the second period, it looked like they were going to run away with it.
As the time kept ticking, the Flames got a burst of energy scoring two goals before the half.
The Flames had their chances, but Elon goalie Mike Meglio showed pure talent with his stick, blocking four shots in a row at one point.
Down 7-5 at the end of the third period, sophomore, Michael Strappelli scored on a breakaway, and just 30 seconds later tied the game up with 12 minutes to play.
With the cheers, and momentum behind them, the Flames looked like they were going to bring home a win, but the experience and composure of the Phoenix seemed too much as they scored six additional goals to close out the game.
“I’m proud of the way the guys played,” McQuillan said. “That’s the number eight team in the nation right now and SELC champions. For the rest of our time here that’s the team we need to beat.”
“It was a hard loss, we let it slip away towards the end of the fourth, we played a great game, it’s been a great season and a great group of guys,” sophomore goalie Asa Keimig said.
“I think we hung in there for three quarters, and then the fourth quarter we didn’t come,” midfielder Derek Haywood said.