COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Amid the cancellation of all Ohio Atheltic Conference spring sports seasons prior to this aftenoon's game, the Baldwin Wallace University men's lacrosse team abruptly concluded its spring break trip and entire 2020 campaign by falling to Colorado College by a final score of 14-10, in a non-conference matchup on Washburn Field.
BW (2-4) had to face the hash reality of seeing its season end prematurely, in regards to the precautionary measures taken by the OAC and NCAA to combat the COVID-19 vius. Nevertheless, the Yellow Jackets would face off against an undefeated Colorado College (6-0) team who had received votes in this week's national rankings, for its relucant 2020 season finale.
"I'm sad for the seniors and disappointed that we don't get to see this team continue to chase its potential," head coach Trey Keeley stated after the game. "I'm confident that our seniors are going to take the lessons leaned during their four years here and make an impact in their community. That's the goal bigger picture here, and why I love this program. I'm proud of these men and the way we have handled the daily struggle for excellence. I can't put my gratitude for this team, and disappointment with it ending into words. I'm truly glad I was a part of this team."
BW's offense was led by senior attacker Drew Braden (Wooster), who had a terrific curtain call performance matching his career-best with five goals on the afternoon. Freshman attacker Kyler Byerly (Pittsburgh, Pa./North Allegheny) also chipped in with a goal and two assists in the defeat.
Yellow Jackets freshman goalkeeper Joe Storner (Louisville, Ky./St. Xavier) etched his name in the BW men's lacrosse record books, tying the program record for saves in a game with 21. His record-tying performance matches Jake Harders' seven-year old mark, previous set during the inaugural 2013 season. Storner turned aside 21 of 34 total shots faced, as he concluded his freshman campaign with a 2-3 record.
BW had a sluggish start in the opening six minutes, surrendering four of the game's first five goals. In an attempt to not lt the game slip out of reach early on, the Yellow Jackets began gaining some traction in the scoring column, courtesy of back-to-back tucks from team leading-scorer Braden. With the clock winding down the closing seconds of the opening quarter, Colorado College was able to find the back of the net with a buzzer-beating score to increase its lead to 4-2.
The Tigers packed on another two goals to begin the second period, padding the deficit to a game-high four goals. However, BW stormed back with a 3-1 run to close the second quarter, capped off by Braden's third score of the game at the 1:37, with an assist being credited to Byerly. The Yellow Jackets put themselves in a position to climb out of a two-goal hole headed to the intermission.
Braden's scoring onslaught spilled into the second half, as he got the third quarter started with his fourth goal to get BW a point removed from finding the equalizer. After a Colorado College goal at the 10:52 mark, junior midfielder Nick Nanosky (Medina) came right back to the game within one.
That was ultimately the closest the Yellow Jackets would get to neutralizing the score, as the Tigers asserted their control of the game in the final quarter. Colorado College strung together a three-goal run, before a minor interruption by Braden's fifth score of the afternoon, and then the Tigers added another two insurance goals to put the game out of reach for good, ending BW's season with a bitter, but valiant effort defeat.