William Penn Muscles Past Saint Mary

Oskaloosa — William Penn men’s lacrosse completed the home double header against Saint Mary (Kan.) Saturday with a victory. With a torrent of goals in the first quarter, the Statesmen cruised to a 19-5 win over the Spires. The victory brings the record for the navy and gold up to 6-6 overall and 4-3 in the Kansas Collegiate Athletic Conference, the first time the program has held a winning conference record in its short history.

William Penn wasted little time getting on the board, with Brady Treloar (Fr., Portland, Ore., Business Management) lifting a good pass from behind the net to Collin Baliva (Fr., St. Louis, Mo.). Baliva took a couple steps and lashed his shot into the net to put the home side ahead 1-0 just 56 seconds in. Just shy of a minute later, Noah George (Fr., Hillsboro, Ore.) strode into the attacking end and unleased some high heat past the USM goalie to make it 2-0. Keeping up the frantic pace, Treloar found an open Eli Dillon (Fr., Portland, Ore.), who pounded his shot into the net to make it 3-0. Shell-shocked, the Spires called a timeout to regroup.

However, it was William Penn who remained on a different level, as Tim Pennington (Fr., Boise, Idaho, Biology) and then Baliva launched shots towards the net but both missed wide. The leading goal scorer for the team then found his first tally, as Boston Romero (Fr., Las Vegas, Nev., Business) bounced in a shot to make it 4-0 WPU with 11:37 to go in the first quarter.

Saint Mary finally slowed the bleeding by getting their first look at goal. Jeremy Smith (Sr., Camano Island, Wash., Sociology) made his first save with ease, leading to another opportunity for Romero at the other end. He wound up and let fly but just missed wide of the net. Smith then watched one shot sail wide and another ring off the pipe to his left, as the Spires created a couple more chances.

But the Statesmen recovered and reeled off five goals over the final six minutes. The navy and gold got a clearance up to Dillon, who pocketed his second of the game to start the run. Jon Bell (Fr., Castle Rock, Colorado) then scored his first goal as a Statesmen to make it 6-0. Treloar picked up his third assist of the game on a catch-and-shoot goal for Baliva, who chucked in his second of the game. Romero added in his second goal before Treloar struck for his first to make the lead 9-0.

Momentum then swung back to the Spires, who put up two unanswered goals in the final 40 seconds of the quarter. Even though the Statesmen had outshot the Spires 15-5, the team remained weary of letting off the gas pedal too soon.

While the Statesmen were ahead 9-2 to start the second period, the Spires almost made it three goals in a row. Smith flopped a pass into the ground and the ball rolled right along the goal line but stayed out. He then came up with another save a couple minutes later, as WPU were slow out of the blocks in the quarter. Despite the sluggish start, Romero picked up his third goal on another lovely pass from Treloar to make it 10-2. Just 24 seconds later, Treloar got a pass and with no one stopping his run towards the net, he dove in and flicked his shot home to make it 11-2, as the Statesmen rebounded perfectly after the less than ideal start.

With 9:24 to go, George took another feed from Treloar and flung it in to make it 12-2. Romero rang one off the crossbar before Pennington collected his first goal of the game. The Spires hit the post once more in the half and Smith made a save as the clock hit zeros to keep William Penn ahead 13-2 at halftime.

The navy and gold outshot the Spires 26-10 in the first half, with Saint Mary getting five shots a quarter. The Statesmen had a huge edge in ground ball pickups (20-8) and also won 13 of the 17 faceoffs in the first half. WPU was 8-for-10 on successful clearances as well.

Holding the Spires off the board in the second quarter, the Statesmen continued to let their offense work. Pennington scored off a pass from Dillon and George followed that up a minute and 23 seconds later with a goal, with the assist coming from Carter Lucas (Fr., Minneapolis, Minn., Mechanical Engineering).

Saint Mary scored with 10:58 to go and they put a couple more shots up after that. However, they all missed and William Penn went back on attack. Ryan Epps (Fr., Portland, Ore., Mechanical Engineering) hit the post with one shot and Pennington was denied on a good save by the USM goalie.

Romero then scored two more times to put the team up 17-3, with goals from Pennington and Epps to close out the half . In front 19-3, the Statesmen looked to get some new faces some action in the fourth quarter.

The final frame saw the Spires score twice as the Statesmen struggled to put their shots away. Despite the quarter not being the best of the bunch for WPU, the team had done more than enough to earn the 19-5 win at the final whistle.

The Statesmen had outshot the Spires 41-18 in the game and had picked up 34 ground balls to the visitor’s 13. WPU won 21 of the 28 draws and the team made 13 clears in 16 attempts. Smith made five saves over the first three quarters while Eric Garigan (Fr., Tucson, Ariz., Political Science) played the fourth and did not make a stop in the final 15 minutes of the contest.

Romero continues to dazzle, as he put away five goals on nine shots in the contest. Pennington and George each had three goals while Baliva, Dillon, and Treloar each had two. Treloar paced the squad with five assists and seven points. Ryan Swarts (Fr., Boise, Idaho, Industrial Technology) won 17-22 faceoffs on the day.

“Starting strong has been a big emphasis the last few weeks since we struggled with slow starts earlier this season,” said Head Coach Luke Christiansen. “The last three games we’ve really seen some improvements that have enabled our talent and athleticism to set the tone for the game. Taking care of business today enables us to make a push for an advantageous seed heading into the conference tournament.”

Next Up: The team will hit the road for two games next week, beginning with the Morningside Mustangs on Wednesday, April 7, at 3:30 p.m.

Posted by on Apr 5 2021. Filed under College Sports. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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