WHITTIER, Calif. (Feb. 24-25) – The Poets flew to the East Coast coast this past weekend, scoring 23 goals over two games but dropping both contests to strong opponents.
Friday, Feb. 24:
The Whittier Men's college lacrosse team fell, 22–13, in Ashland, Va., to Randolph-Macon College.
For the second straight game, the Poets took an early 2–0 lead. Sophomore midfielder Kalwin Iha got the scoring going when he earned an unassisted goal with 11:18 to go in the first quarter. Shortly after, senior attacker Connor Hoemann's shot found the net, with an assist from sophomore attacker Owen Wallace, pushing the lead out to 2–0 with 10:45 to go in the quarter.
After the Yellow Jackets cut the lead to 2–1, the Poets would return their lead to two following a goal from senior midfielder Bryce Mayemura (assisted by senior attacker Mason Leet).
However, the Yellow Jackets would go on a four-goal run to take a 5–3 advantage. Whittier promptly erased its deficit to end the first quarter, with goals coming from Wallace and Leet to tie the match at 5.
The second quarter belonged to the Yellow Jackets, who outscored the Poets 6–2 in the period. The two Whittier goals were scored by senior attacker Alex Coco (assisted by Iha) and first-year attacker Nathan Palumbo. The halftime horn rang, with the Poets trailing, 11–7.
In the final seconds of the third quarter, the Poets scored two goals, the first by sophomore midfielder Luke McElligott (assisted by senior midfielder Devin Tamblyn), and the next by Iha.
While the Poets scored four goals in the fourth quarter, it was not enough to close the gap. In the final quarter of play, senior midfielder Noah Tobias and Leet each tickled the twine, and Palumbo scored two goals in the quarter.
Palumbo led the Poets with three goals in the game, and Wallace paced the road team with three assists. Sophomore goalkeeper Jayden Warlum had a game-high 10 saves.
Saturday, Feb. 25:
The Poets then traveled to St. Mary's City, Md., falling to the St. Mary's Seahawks by a final score of 24–10.
Again, the Poets truck first, with an Iha goal to open the scoring. This would be Whittier's only lead of the game.
After one quarter, Whittier trailed, 9-2.
Four Poets scored two goals in the contest: Palumbo, Coco, Iha and Hoemann.
For the second consecutive game, Warlum led both teams with 10 saves. Wallace also led Whittier again with three helpers.
Next weekend, the Poets will be jetsetting again, this time to Illinois for games on Saturday against Illinois Wesleyan (9 a.m. PT) and on Sunday at Augustana College (1 p.m.) in Rockland.
Photo: Tony Leon/ActionWestPhotography.com
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