It was a wild ride for the Drexel men’s lacrosse team during the 2013 season.
There was the comeback victory against Villanova in what head coach Brian Voelker called a “monsoon.” The Dragons came back against Hofstra in their conference opener to force overtime before star midfielder Ben McIntosh finally scored the winning goal in the third extra period. And the biggest comeback of all came against Albany, which led Drexel 10-3 before the Dragons roared back to win 20-19.
The final outcome was the Dragons’ best record in Voelker’s four years as coach, 11-4. And with a returning group that includes McIntosh, who was named an honorable-mention All-American in 2013, the team has its eye on its first Colonial Athletic Association tournament championship and an NCAA Tournament berth in 2014.
“My hairline can’t take many more close games, but if we keep winning them, we’ll take it,” Voelker said.
The season begins at 1 p.m. Saturday at Vidas Field with the Dragons’ annual showdown with Virginia, a squad ranked No. 8 in the country. The last time Virginia played at Vidas, in 2012, more than 2,300 fans came to watch, creating a high-energy environment.
“I don’t think the opposition likes playing at Vidas,” said McIntosh, a senior from Coquitlam, British Columbia.
In his final year at Drexel, McIntosh said he believes the team has what it will take to finally reach its ultimate goal, that CAA tournament title.
McIntosh was “amazing” in 2013, Voelker said, racking up big statistics (56 points, more than any other midfielder in the CAA), coming through in big moments and stepping into a leadership role. This year, the team elected him co-captain, along with senior midfielder Jason Klunder.
“We need him to step up and be effective, to be a leader,” Voelker said. “And I think he’s going to do it.”