It appears things may be looking up for the young Drexel University men’s lacrosse team. After dropping their first four games of the season, the Dragons have roared back, capturing two straight wins, over Saint Joseph’s University and Bryant University.
Riding the high from the first win of the season over St. Joe’s, the Dragons hosted Bryant and were finally able to put it all together.
Bryant started out strong, pulling out to a 3-1 lead at the end of the first and extending their lead to 4-1 in the beginning of the second period. The Dragons didn’t back down in the face of early adversity and instead reeled off four straight goals to take the lead. A late Bryant goal left the game knotted at five at the end of the half.
In the second half, the Dragons found their stride, as Ryan Belka made his presence known, scoring three goals in the half and assisting one. He ended the game with four goals and two assists and earned himself Colonial Athletic Association player of the week honors with his performance.
The Dragons outscored Bryant 6-3 in the second half of the contest and managed to earn their second win on the season by a score of 11-8.
Yes, the Dragons’ offense against Bryant was good. Not stellar, but good. The key in this victory was the defense.
To start, goalie play has been huge in the last two games for the Dragons. In the four losses to start the season, the Dragons allowed an average of 13.75 goals per game. In their recent wins, they’ve averaged 7.5 goals allowed per game.
Head coach Brian Voelker noted that the Dragons are trying to grow together and that the growth wouldn’t be quick and it would also require some coaching experimentation with lineups, trying to find the best fit.
It appears he may have found just that, as the defense looks by far the best it has looked all year and maybe even better than last season’s defense.
Possibly on the outside looking in? Will Gabrielsen and Cal Winkelman.
As a transfer from Loyola University of Maryland, sophomore goalie Jimmy Joe Granito sat out last season after his transfer, but he’s eligible and ready to make an impact for the Dragons.
He’s held down the goal in both of the Dragons’ victories and might have earned himself the position for the time being.
Now this isn’t fully his doing, as his job has most likely been made easier by the defensive improvements of the team as a whole, but his impact in goal can’t simply be overlooked.
This team has shown that it can score in bunches, but its success this season is going to be based on the other side of the field. If the last two games are any indication, this team may be headed for more success this season.
The Dragons will take on St. John’s University Saturday, March 14 at 1 p.m.