D3 Lax Notebook: Cornell College, Oglethorpe Score Opening-Day Wins

By Matt Noonan

The 2022 college lacrosse season has officially returned — let’s celebrate!

Saturday was a busy day for many as games were played at all hours, including late in the evening with Providence College downing Holy Cross shortly before midnight (the game was moved to Smithfield, Rhode Island “due to poor field conditions” in Worcester, Massachusetts).

A few NCAA Division III teams were in action, as well with Birmingham Southern, Cornell College, and Oglethorpe University both scoring respective opening day wins.

Here are a few thoughts (and takeaways) for the first busy Saturday of the college lacrosse season — like we have previously, we will be keeping our eyes on the small college lacrosse (think NCAA Division II & III, along with some NAIA) over the next few weeks and months.

Thoughts on Oglethorpe’s opening-day win: The Stormy Petrel’s scored their first opening-day win since February 1, 2020, by defeating Warren Wilson College, 27-1.

Jazz Washington jumpstarted Oglethorpe’s offense by locating the back of the Warren Wilson cage just 30 seconds into the non-conference clash to provide the hosts with enough momentum to carry them to a 10-0 lead after 15 minutes.

Washington, who produced 22 points on 12 goals and 10 assists last season, concluded his team’s initial contest with six goals and six assists. He, along with Max Brand (four goals and two assists) will be two players to watch this spring.

Richard Bedgood IV stuffed the stat sheet with a game-high 21 shots, including 13 shots on net, which resulted in nine goals and two helpers while Addison Irwin concluded the game with six saves on seven shots and Carsen Van Note won 21 of 22 face-offs.

The Black and Yellow (the team’s colors) may have a small roster, but their interim coach Scott Dangel believes for his team to be successful, they will need to exhibit both “heart and hustle.”  

A good first effort for Warren Wilson College: Despite losing their first-ever varsity contest on Saturday to Oglethorpe, coach Jeffrey Woodside was proud of his team’s effort — he tweeted the following after his team’s non-conference clash with Oglethorpe concluded:

Saiquan Bell, who is also a member of the Warren Wilson men’s basketball team, scored the team’s initial varsity tally with 4:51 remaining in the final session.

Bell will certainly be a player lacrosse fans should watch this spring, but the same could be said for the entire roster, which is made up of three juniors, four sophomores, and six first-years.

Woodside, who was introduced as the program’s head coach last September, spent two years as an assistant coach with Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts (MCLA) and was instrumental in helping the Trailblazers’ offense and goalies.

Warren Wilson will return to action on Saturday, February 12 when they visit Greensboro College.

Jussilla, Wiberg lead Cornell College to an opening-day win: It was an ideal start for the Rams, a team that hopes to take the so-called “next-stepthis season as the Purple and White topped Centenary College of Louisiana, 16-10, on Saturday for the team’s first opening-day win in two seasons.

Kyle Jussila and Warren Wiberg combined for 10 goals in the non-conference meeting while Evan Begner registered 16 saves.

Cornell outshot Centenary, 43-37, while scooping 29 ground balls.

Centenary, which trailed by one goal after the opening session, did provide the Rams with challenges as they concluded the game with 14 caused turnovers.

The Rams will return to the field on Saturday when they compete against William Penn University (NAIA) in an exhibition contest. Cornell’s home opener is scheduled for February 26 against Quincy University (NCAA Division II).

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