Men's Lacrosse Earns First-Ever Centennial Conference Playoff Berth
Update (5/9/16): The Garnet was selected as the No. 1 seed for the ECAC Mid-Atlantic Lacrosse Championship Tournament. Swarthmore will host the winner of No. seed 4 Curry and No. 5 seed Johnson & Wales on Saturday.
Update (5/4/16):The Swarthmore men's lacrosse team exhibited strong play in the second and third quarters of its Centennial Conference semifinal game, but fell to Gettysburg by a score of 18-8.
For the first time in program history, the Swarthmore College men's lacrosse team advanced to the Centennial Conference playoffs.
The Garnet toppled rival Haverford by a score of 8-7 on Saturday, April 30, to earn the fourth and final spot in the postseason tournament, which has been in existence since 2001. Matt Johnson '18, an attacker from Lake Oswego, Ore., scored three goals and Cam Marsh '18, an economics and engineering major and attacker from Upper Arlington, Ohio, finished with two goals and one assist.
Goalie Cole Fox '17, an engineering major from Tampa Bay, Fla., recorded nine saves to earn the win, including five in the all-important fourth quarter. Fox denied Haverford's literal last-second attempt at tying the game, securing the victory for Swarthmore.
It's been a remarkable season for the Garnet, which posted double-digit victories for the first time in more than 20 years. Head coach Pat Gress was named the Centennial Conference Coach of the Year and three Garnet players were named All-Centennial. Marsh placed on the All-Centennial First Team, Eric Levin '17, a political science and economics major from Reisterstown, Md., earned a spot on the second team and Will Black '16, an honors economics major from Harleysville, Pa., received an honorable mention.
According to Gress, the road to success was paved in the preseason.
"The players set goals in the preseason to play with grit and commit to practicing with effort and discipline," he says. "The win over a very talented Haverford team and the Centennial playoff appearance are a reflection of these goals and a reward for all of their hard work."
Jimmy Gastner '16, an economics and political science major from Media, Pa., believes the win against Haverford was representative of the team's mentality all season.
"In past seasons, we have struggled late in close games, but this year our team has grown to embrace these types of games," he says. "The mental toughness and grit we displayed while preserving a one goal lead are two qualities that our team is very proud to possess."
He adds: "Every member of team has worked incredibly hard to get to where we are, and we're very excited to continue our season."