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The Maroons beat Randolph-Macon on Saturday to advance to Sunday's ODAC championship game.
John Wimmer | Special to The Roanoke Times
Roanoke’s Joey Dishaw (5) drives against a Randolph-Macon player on Saturday.
Saturday, May 4, 2013
Tyler McWilliams was not one of the eight Roanoke College players named to the All-ODAC first, second or third team by the conference’s men’s lacrosse coaches Friday.
The slight left him with plenty of motivation Saturday.
The freshman scored four goals to lead the Maroons to a 15-6 win over Randolph-Macon in an ODAC semifinal at Kerr Stadium in Salem.
“I just played with a chip on my shoulder,” said McWilliams, who has scored 26 goals this year. “When you don’t get [honored], it just motivates you more to go hard in the playoffs — try to redeem myself.”
“Tyler took it kind of personal that he didn’t make All-ODAC,” Roanoke coach Bill Pilat said. “I thought he was deserving.”
The top-seeded Maroons (14-3), ranked No. 7 in the Division III poll, will host third-seeded and 12th-ranked Washington and Lee (15-3) in the title game at 3 p.m. today. An automatic bid to the NCAA Division III tournament will be at stake.
After reaching the NCAA semifinals in 2011, Roanoke did not make the ODAC final or the NCAA tournament last year.
The Maroons yelled, “We did it!” after winning Saturday’s game.
“All of our seniors this year, after seeing what happened last year, … we were determined this whole year to make sure that we weren’t going to take any game for granted,” said senior Richard Lachlan, who had three goals.
Saturday night’s win capped an eventful day for Lachlan and the rest of the team’s seniors. The college held its commencement ceremony Saturday morning.
“It made us realize that we’re done with school and lacrosse is the only thing keeping us here, so we’re going to make sure we’re here as long as we can be,” Lachlan said.
It was the 11th straight victory for the Maroons, who are seeking to win the ODAC tournament for the third time in four years. They have not lost to an ODAC team this season.
“We’re playing with a lot of confidence,” McWilliams said.
The pairings for the Division III tournament will be announced tonight. Pilat said his team is in “good shape” to get an at-large NCAA bid if it loses to W&L today.
Roanoke edged W&L 9-8 in the regular-season finale.
“They like to slow the ball down, so it’ll be huge if we can jump out to a quick lead and make them try to play at our pace because I don’t think they can run with us,” Lachlan said.
The fifth-seeded Yellow Jackets (10-9), who fell to Roanoke 21-6 in their regular-season meeting, scored the first two goals of Saturday’s game.
But the Maroons reeled off six straight goals to build a 6-2 lead with 6:24 left in the second quarter. They led the rest of the way.
Four of the six Roanoke goals in that span were supplied by freshmen. McWilliams had three, with Hidden Valley graduate Will Pilat — the son of the coach — scoring one of the others.
“Our attack is kind of young with two freshmen, but they’ve really matured throughout the year,” the elder Pilat said. “They’ve had a lot of games now, so they’re playing more like sophomores.”
The Maroons led 7-3 at halftime even though Lachlan, the ODAC player of the year, did not score until the second half.
“We have so much depth that if they try to shut me off or I’m not shooting well, we have so many guys that can step up to the plate,” said Lachlan, who has scored 46 goals this year.
Charles Pease had six saves for Roanoke.
“He’s the best goalie in the conference and he played that way tonight,” Yellow Jackets coach J.B. Sheridan said. “He did a phenomenal job.
“He made the routine saves and then he also made a few great saves as well.”
Randolph-Macon 2 1 1 2 — 6
Roanoke 1 6 3 5 — 15
Goals— R-MC: Fox 2, Andrews, Rowe, Butler, Merwin; RC: McWilliams 4, Lachlan 3, Cockey 2, Pilat, Hayden, Rossano, Nizolek, Smith, Grogan. Assists— R-MC: Andrews; RC: McWilliams 2, Pilat 2, Cockey, Dishaw, DuBois, Fortmann, Hayden, Lachlan, Wolf. Saves— R-MC: Smith 13; RC: Pease 6.
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