Men’s lacrosse defeats North Central in a landslide

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By: Matt Wegh, Managing Editor

After a mid-season week off, the Illinois Wesleyan men’s lacrosse team fell to annual rival Aurora on Monday, April 2. 

The 9-13 loss marked the first time since their May 7, 2016 loss to Carthage College that the Titans failed to score 10 or more goals.  

The team’s 39 shots also tied a season low, tying their total from their 11-18 loss to No. 12 ranked Ohio Wesleyan earlier this season.  

“I think we focused a little too much on setting ourselves up to dodge instead of just attacking right away,” senior midfielder James Maibuecher said.  

“We’ve found success in the past when we push the pace.”  

Much of IWU’s success in recent years has been due to the fast-paced, fastbreak style of play that Head Coach Zach Iannucci preaches.

Last season, the team averaged 19.5 goals per game, which led NCAA DIII.  This season, despite not cracking double-digits in the Aurora game, they are still averaging 21 goals per game.  

Putting up ridiculous stats helps to put a relatively new program in the national spotlight, but ultimately the most important number is in the win-loss column.  

“We need to focus on driving and attacking the goal.  We would like to put up 20 goals per game, but in the end all we need is one more than the other team.”  

The Titans slow start could be attributed to the 10 day break

“I think the long break will help us in the long run.  We definitely worked on a lot in the past week. I have no worries about tonight, we will come out with energy like we always do.”

The Titans did that and more against North Central College on Wednesday, April 4.  IWU beat the visiting Cardinals 28-9, improving their record to 7-3, 2-0 in the CCIW.  

This win makes the Titans 7-0 on the season when scoring 20 or more goals.  

From the very first whistle of the game against North Central, IWU was firing on all cylinders.  They jumped out to an early 6-0 lead at the end of the first period, and went into half leading 15-3.  

IWU was outscored 3-5 in the third period, but withstood the run and outscored the Cardinals 10-1 in the final period.  

Leading scorers for the Titans were junior midfielder Will Rossi who scored five, and freshman midfielder David O’Neil who tallied four.  

Rossi led the team in points as well, with six, including two assists.  This was his highest point-scoring game of the season, his previous high coming week one versus Wittenberg University.  

The Titans will need more scoring performances like this as they delve deeper into the CCIW regular season.  

In past seasons, the regular season CCIW champion has had one conference loss or less, so every game from now on becomes critical.  

IWU will continue their push when they’ll take on rival Carthage College this Saturday, April 7 at Tucci Stadium.