STEUBENVILLE, Ohio – Baron Lacrosse came out firing against their well-matched opponent Bryn Athyn. The Franciscan offense scored their highest game total of the season with a breakout performance from junior attacker Patrick McNamara, but was unable to pull off the win, losing a close 19-14 game.
"I we played hard today and it was an exciting game," head coach Pete Rosaschi said. "This wasn't a game where we felt out-manned at all, we were very confident going in here. They played hard from start to finish and that's one thing I'm very proud of today."
Franciscan started out strong, scoring their first goal minutes into the first quarter. BAC was quick to respond, tying up the score 1-1. The Barons soon took advantage of a fast break to regain the lead and their momentum only multiplied after a highlight goal from McNamara.
Running behind the back of the crease, McNamara dodged to the inside of the net, holding onto the ball despite a stick checking penalty on his defender that caught him in his facemask and pinned his left arm away from his stick. With his free right hand McNamara whipped his stick around at about shoulder height and released a shot into the nearside of the net.
"Pat had a breakout game, he has a wonderful shot and you saw it today," Rosaschi said. "After his first goal we were running with momentum from that moment on."
Late in the first quarter, the Lions took advantage of two man-up opportunities to tie up the score and despite Franciscan holding possession most of the quarter, a few Bryn Athyn fast breaks increased their lead by two.
"Our inexperience just popped up again on the defensive end and we just made some fundamental mistakes, but that happens," Rosaschi said. "I call the fast breaks the chaos of the game. It's an unsettled situation and it's hard to teach that, especially with such a young team."
In the second quarter, the Barons took advantage of face-off wins and maintained most of the possession. The score slowly climbed higher but despite strong Franciscan possessions, the momentum started to shift to the Lions as they slowly pulled away.
A balanced FUS attack, led by McNamara, did its best to keep pace. The Barons showcased their most efficient ball movement and creative finishing of the season, finally matching their coach's expectation.
"It really takes time to develop the family of an offense," Rosaschi said. "Now it's more of an issue that we just need to believe that we can do it, it's not a physical thing. We're talking to guys and we're telling them that we're expecting them to play at this level now. Before we were teaching them how to do things and today we know they can do it and we've seen them do it."
In the third quarter McNamara struck again, tying up the score at 10-10, putting Franciscan in a position to grab their second win of the season. However, a face-off change by the Lions cost FUS offensively and they were unable to recover, falling behind by five.
"The other team executed very well on those. They won the face-offs and made some fast breaks," Rosaschi said. "We have to work on stopping those fast breaks before they happen."
BAC took advantage of their lead in the fourth quarter, working the ball around to take time off the clock. Franciscan remained aggressive on offense but was unable to hold the possession for very long. The Lions finally ran out the clock winning 19-14.
"We put up fourteen and that's a season high," Rosaschi said on the play of his offense. "Lacrosse is a beautiful dance, and everything everyone does on the field affects everybody else. Bryn Athyn was extremely patient in the fourth quarter; they waited and took the opportune shot."
The Barons finish their season with a home game against Division II opponent Walsh University this Tuesday April 15, starting at 4 p.m.