Beware the Bees of March
The Fighting Bees men’s lacrosse team capped off their March, remaining the only undefeated team in the NAIA sitting at 9-0 and securing their spot at number 1 in the nation in the coaches poll.
The Bees started off their March against 8th ranked William Penn university. In this conference match up, the Bees wasted no time getting ahead sitting with a 6-4 lead at halftime.
In the second half, the Bees defense kicked it into high gear and would only allow 3 more goals to be scored in the second half while the Bees offense put in another 8 goals giving them a 14-7 victory.
Junior midfielder Cole Danner finished the day with 5 goals and had some good assistance from attackman Michael Keating and midfielder Michael Shakerin who each scored 3. Defensively, Nolan Hayes had 20 saves and Hunter Northway went 12 for 19 on the faceoffs.
The Bees next opponent was 5th ranked Columbia College. This was another big conference matchup for the Bees as they were defeated by the Cougars in last year’s conference championship.
The Bees once again wasted no time getting off to a hot start sitting with a 6-2 lead at half. Coming out of the half, the Bees buried another 7 goals giving them a 13-7 lead.
The Cougars would be held to 1 goal in the fourth quarter while the Bees put in another 2 giving them a 15-8 victory. Keating, Shakerin and Danner would each score 3 goals. Northway went a stellar 21-24 on the faceoffs.
“I’d say this was a big one for us. It hurt losing that championship game last year” said senior attackman Christian Dimaano. “We wanted to show everyone there is going to be a new team on top of the KCAC this year, and for years to come.”
Coming off that hot victory the Bees took on 9th ranked Concordia University. The game remained rather close until the 3rd quarter.
Senior Midfielder Sam Kerr Photo Courtesy of SAU men’s lacrosse
The Bees offense began to find holes in the Concordia defense and pushed the bees out to a 7-3 lead. The Bees would find the back of the net 3 more times while the Bees defense locked it down and only allowed two more goals in the second half.
The Bees walked away with a 10-5 victory. Sam Kerr and Michael Shakerin both found the back of the net 3 times and Nolan Hayes finished with 16 saves.
Next up for the Bee’s was Missouri Baptist University. Another big conference game for the Bees as they have never beaten Missouri Baptist in their team’s history.
From the start, this one was all Ambrose sitting with an 8-1 lead at half. The Bees defense would only allow 4 goals giving them a 16-4 victory. Another big game for the Bees defense as they locked down another offense. Michael Shakerin scored 4 goals and Sam Kerr scored 3.
Photo Courtesy of SAU men’s lacrosse
The next Matchup was against 6th ranked Aquinas University. This was the Bees toughest matchup this March and they played a very tight game.
While the Bees maintained a lead for the whole game, Aquanis gave the Bees no room to breathe. It stayed this way till the very end where the Bees walked away with a 16-13 victory.
Sam Kerr finished the day with 5 goals and Michael Shakerin had 4 assists. Nolan Hayes would finish with 16 saves.
To cap off their “Perfect March,” the Bee’s would travel to Kansas to take on 8th ranked Benedictine and Ottawa University.
The Bee’s got off to a hot 4-0 start in the Benedictine matchup. They would head into halftime with a 7-3 lead. The defense would once again lock it down and only allow 2 goals to be scored in the second half giving the Bees a 10-5 victory.
The next day the Bees took on Ottawa university in another hard fought win. The Bees would head into the half with a 10-5 lead. Out of the half, the Bees would find the back of the net 7 more times and only allow two more goals to be scored.
“It was a tough weekend but I think it proved to everyone that we are about it,” recalled junior midfielder Cole Danner. “We still have a lot to work on but there are also a lot of positives to take away from this last month of play.”
The Bees remained perfect through March and maintained their number 1 ranking. The Bees look to finish out their season with more conference games against Missouri Valley, Saint Mary’s, Midland and Clarke before heading to the conference tournament.