Written by Lorena Saenz
Twenty-six years ago on December 3, 1983, the newborn Southwestern men’s lacrosse team played their first game against the Baylor Bears losing 12-1. This Saturday, however, was a completely different story. Starting off Coach Bill Bowman’s final season, the Bucs showed the Bears who were boss in 2009 by winning the game 14-8 with an impressive second half.
For Southwestern, the game started off with Baylor scoring two quick goals, however senior standout Andrew Webb and sophomores Nathan Carney, Chris Lange and Thomas Mock got the Bucs back on track and before the end of the first half, the game was tied 5-5.
In the second half the Bucs held down their offensive position and sophomore Luther Faulk quickly started off the third quarter with a score followed by another goal made by aggressive attack man and senior Martin Irish. With antelope-like adroitness, junior Connor Hanrahan charged the length of the field swiftly passing to Webb for a fast, catch and shoot score making the game 9-5.
After a four point scoring streak the Bears managed to get off their first shot only to be blocked by senior goalie James Walker. However, Baylor retaliated this block by a scoring off of the next possession.
The Bucs crushed any hope of revival by a score from senior Heath Thompson at the beginning of the following possession making the score 10-6. Thompson then provided a quick assist for Mock, ending the third quarter.
“The team played with a lot of passion and a lot of heart. The last few years have been losses against Baylor and we really wanted our final year to be a win. As opposed to last year, we came out with our stuff together and played well,” said junior attack man Matt Hanson.
The Bucs kept up the momentum to close out the game in the final quarter with scores from Irish, Carney and Mock. The defensive team was fierce, only allowing the Bears one goal in the final quarter. Carney ended the game with five personal goals.
Since 1997, Southwestern graduate and political science major Bill Bowman has been coaching the men’s lacrosse team and is looking to finish this year as his final season. Bowman led the team in petitioning to join the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA/USL) making Southwestern a member of the Lone Star Alliance. This affiliation afforded the team greater recognition, including national rankings and a more level and competitive playing field.
“One of the most memorable moments in coaching the Southwestern lacrosse team was last year at nationals when we far exceeded anyone’s expectations. The team advanced to the quarter finals and beat the team ranked number seven. No team was expecting to see that from Southwestern but we really came together for that game to finish the season strong. At the beginning of this season, the team is already where we were at Nationals last year. This season has very strong potential,” Bowman said.
In the fall the Southwestern men’s lacrosse team will be combining forces with new head coach Joe Ernst. Ernst is a graduate of Siena College in Albany, New York and has been coaching teams ranging from club to Division I lacrosse teams for the past 16 years.
His current career record is an impressive 112-75. Ernst is currently helping out at afternoon practices and getting to know the players. His main position now is recruiting men for future seasons of varsity lacrosse at Southwestern.
“I think Coach Ernst will be a great addition to Southwestern and I’m excited to play for him. He has a lot of experience and a lot of skill and knowledge to offer our team,” Hanson said. “I think he will do well here.”