FUS men lose late

STEUBENVILLE – The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s lacrosse team dropped an 11-8 decision to visiting Thiel College Saturday after holding a 7-6 lead in the third quarter.

“It was tough. These guys played a great first half and I think the third quarter was pretty good, but we just could not get it over the finish line today,” Barons head coach Pete Rosaschi said.

“We had a great week of practice, we had a great scouting report and we had great film work. It just takes time to mature as a team, and to win – to learn to win.”

The fourth quarter marked a change in momentum and a change in results as a tired Barons team struggled to gain and maintain possession of the ball. While FUS won the ground ball battle 54-52, they were only able to win nine of the 26 available ground balls in the fourth quarter. With extra possessions, the Tomcats were able to break down the Barons defense and take the lead.

“Its conditioning, we’ve got to work on our conditioning,” Rosaschi said, also adding that face-offs were a problem. “Its something else we have to work on and build into our program.”

Rosaschi said he saw improved efficiency on both sides of the ball, particularly from starting midfielder Sean Wayne who finished with five goals, one assist and 10 ground balls.

“Sean works real hard individually,” Rosaschi said. “He shoots at least 50 to 100 balls after practice and he’s become a critical component of our offense.”

Wayne was able to improve his finishing ability after working on his quick-stick skills with a women’s lacrosse stick during the week, which helped give him softer hands and a quicker release.

The Baron’s defense also got a boost from the addition of defender David Fay who played his first game of the season after returning from an injury. Fay only practiced with the team for four days leading up to the game and combined with goalie Evan Malchano to allow the fewest goals of the season.

“As hard as I am on the guys, there were tremendous, tremendous improvements,” Rosaschi said. “There’s a lot of good, you just have to finish.”

During spring break, the team will spend time doing mission work and will leave for a two-day trip to Virginia to meet Southern Virginia University and Randolph College.

“It’s still amazing to me that I don’t have seniors here that I’ve known for four years. They know each other better than I know them,” Rosaschi said. “So this week is gonna be good for the team to just come together and grow.”

Lady Barons blanked

ALLIANCE – Coming off of the first win in program history, the Franciscan University of Steubenville women’s lacross team dropped a 21-0 decision at the University of Mount Union Saturday.

“After a good game you have high hopes, so when you fall you fall really hard,” head coach Maura Conant said. “Today we just felt it more because we knew what victory felt like and we went in the opposite direction.”

Conant added that although the Lady Barons came out on a high from the previous day’s win, they fell apart mentally after the first five minutes of the game.

“Yesterday everybody pulled together and won as a team but today we didn’t pull together and so we lost as a team,” Conant said.

Standout players on defense were Bethany Potvin and Emily Bedard, who continued to motivate the team even after Potvin’s arm was injured.

“Beth and Emily are very strong on defense, always very vocal and very positive,” Conant said.

The Lady Barons host Hilbert College at 3 p.m. Tuesday.

McBane named soccer coach

STEUBENVILLE – Clare McBane has been hired as the new women’s soccer coach at Franciscan University of Steubenville. She took over as the interim head coach after former head coach Johann Marin resigned in November. After leading recruiting, scheduling, and other tasks during the program’s offseason, McBane was asked to permanently take over the reins of Lady Baron soccer.

“We knew from the beginning that Clare was a perfect mission fit for the position, but her work during the offseason proved to us that she is the right person to take this team to the next level,” Athletic Director Chris Ledyard said. “She has great leadership, organizational, and coaching skills and an unquestionable commitment to Franciscan University.”

The move comes just in time for the start of the team’s non-traditional spring season which starts on March 19 and will allow McBane to focus on long-term planning for the program’s future and will bring permanent stability to the team.

Tennis nets a win

BRADFORD, Pa. – The Franciscan University of Steubenville men’s tennis defeated conference opponent University of Pitt-Greensburg, 8-1, Friday. The match started off with the Baron’s doubles teams taking a 2-1 lead over the Bobcats, a lead that head coach Jeremy Ellis said came more easily than he expected at first.

“I thought it was going to be a little tighter, at least it looked that way in the beginning,” Ellis said. “But we played well and pulled it out.”

The doubles section was highlighted by the play of the number one doubles team made up of junior captain Paul Jarzynka and junior Leonel Lacayo who set the tone for the match with a confident win.

Despite a one game lead, the outcome of the match was still very much undecided heading into singles play. Once again Jarzynka set the standard with another strong victory and the rest of the Baron’s followed his example.

Freshman Joe Staniszewsi and junior Jack Bruce each pulled out close battles to help Franciscan sweep singles play.