Men’s Lacrosse Off to Impressive Start

Brock Switzer

Justin Criado, Asst. Copy Editor

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The Robert Morris men’s lacrosse team has quietly compiled an impressive 4-2 record to start off the 2012 season, the first under head coach Andrew McMinn.

“As a head coach he is still very involved in the offensive side of things, so it is the same atmosphere,” junior Jake Hayes said.

The Colonials upset No. 18/20 Ohio St., 9-7, Friday, Mar. 9 behind a solid performance in net by redshirt junior Dillon Pope.

RMU started the campaign on the road with four straight non-conference games. During that stretch the Colonials went 3-1 with their only loss coming against No. 11/12 Denver, 21-8, in the DU Face-off Classic.

In the first game of the tournament Hayes tied two school records for most goals in a game and most points in a game when he netted seven goals and added an assist for eight points in a 17-14 victory over Air Force. Hayes finished the tournament with nine goals and was named to the All-Tournament Team.

Hayes has been at the forefront of the Colonial attack with a team-leading 16 goals and 22 points. The Calgary, Alberta-native entered the week leading the nation in shooting percentage while also earning his second-straight NEC Offensive Player of the Week honor.

“I feel we have grown as a team in a lot of different areas along with keeping the tradition that was set by the players in the past,” Hayes emphasized.

Individual success only comes after team success, though. Also, RMU received votes in two national polls the first two weeks of play. They appeared in the “Also Receiving Votes” category in the United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) the first two weeks of the regular-season edition.

“We try not to focus a lot on the recognition and national polls,” Hayes expressed. “We really just focus on working as hard as we can every day and then when we accomplish that everything takes care of itself usually.”

The play of Hayes compliments that of senior Kiel Matisz. The All-American also has 16 goals while leading the team in total points with 25. McMinn describes his game as an “equal opportunity” offense, a system which led the nation in scoring two years in a row under former head coach Bear Davis.

This year, 14 different Colonials have scored.

“We run a democratic system with the way that we approach things offensively,” McMinn said earlier this season. “We really have a system based upon equality where everyone gets touches and everyone gets opportunities.”

The Colonials will look to continue their hot start this Sunday, Mar. 17, when they travel to Geneva, New York to play at Hobart for the first time in program history. Opening faceoff is set for 1 p.m.

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