Barons Lose First Quarter Lead in Home Opener
STEUBENVILLE, Ohio- The first Men's Lacrosse home game ever to be played at Franciscan, ended with a Barons' loss to Wilmington College and a final score of 16-10. Despite the loss, the performance was a dramatic boost for Franciscan who struggled in their previous game, the first of the season.
The men started off strong with a three-goal streak in the first five minutes of the game and a 5-4 lead by the end of the first quarter. Their lead increased 6-4 two minutes into the second quarter, but then Wilmington went on a run, tying it up and eventually going into the half ahead of the Barons 8-6.
"They were a very evenly matched team," head coach Pete Rosaschi said about Wilmington, also a first-year program, adding that he was pleased to see his team improve from their last game. "We looked much better and played really well. We just have to work on some fundamentals."
The Barons were led by midfielder Sebastian Olsen who had a team high four goals, and midfielder Sean Wayne who added two goals, eleven ground balls, and a number of crowd pleasing hits.
"Sean is just a beast," said Rosaschi who was particularly pleased with how physical his team played.
Two other standouts were attackman, Ryan Zibkowski who had two goals and an assist and goalie Evan Malchano who had an outstanding game with twelve saves.
"He did a wonderful job and stopped multiple shots on the doorstep," Rosaschi said.
The Barons held most of the possession during the first half, controlling the tempo and forcing a number of turnovers. The roles flipped in the second half, however, as Wilmington was able to win the groundball battle and the majority of the faceoffs.
Rosaschi said the team's roster wasn't as deep as he would've liked with a few players out because of injury, making it difficult for them to finish late.
"Three guys were in limited action. We were playing a little short handed and a little tired," Rosaschi said about the second half of the game.
While at times FUS struggled with some fundamental stick work as the team still adjusts to playing together in their inaugural season, Rosaschi said he was proud of the effort he saw from his players.
"The skills and the teamwork will come with time," Rosaschi said. "They never quit, and they have a lot of heart, which is the most important thing."
The Barons will look to play at home again against Thiel College March 9 at 1 pm.