McDaniel coach Matt Hatton chuckled when asked Friday morning to characterize the significance of Wednesday’s 7-6 decision against McDaniel, which was the Green Terror’s first win of the 2014 campaign.
“I think from a variety of standpoints – morale being one of them – that was a big one for us,” he said. “One of the things we talked about going into that game was that it was two what I would consider pretty decent teams that were both 0-3 and one of them was going to leave at 0-4 and one of them was going to be 1-3. So hopefully, it’s something that we can build on. It was a close game. I think for us, getting the first one under our belts was pretty critical.”
Prior Wednesday, McDaniel had been outscored by a combined 45-19 in losses to Salisbury, York and Mary Washington. But if there is a silver lining, all three of those opponents are ranked in the top 20 of the latest United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association poll, making the Green Terror underdogs in those contests.
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“I felt like through the first three games that we played, we knew they were going to be three quality opponents, and the first three we played are all in the top 20,” Hatton said. “Salisbury is going to be competitive for the [national] championship, and I felt like York, I don’t know where they’re ranked, but I know they’re ranked pretty highly. So when I look back at it like that, it’s a combination of us not being where we wanted to be and playing against quality opponents. So the role of the coaches and the captains was to try to make sure that the guys understood that if we’re doing the right things and keep working hard, the W’s are going to come.”
The team’s next chance to add a second victory will take place Saturday when it visits Marywood. The Pacers are 2-2 and have alternated wins and losses since opening the season with a 10-7 decision over Richard Stockton University.
Hatton is hoping that Wednesday’s positive outcome will infuse McDaniel with a level of confidence, but also pointed out that he won’t know until the players take the field.
“I think tomorrow is going to be pretty telling from that end,” he said. “… We have a couple injuries that have been pretty challenging for us at times. But it also gives the younger guys an opportunity to get some more minutes, and there are some younger guys that are certainly getting more confident, and I think the win on Wednesday probably helped in that department.”