By Ben Everett | Sports Writer
Baylor Lacrosse defeated Abilene Christian 19-8 in their season opener Saturday in Waco.
Junior Trey Cambere led the Bears with six goals on seven shots, while also dishing out two assists.
Baylor won the opening face off, and the Bears wasted no time scoring with senior Danny Hill netting the first goal of the game.
Baylor scored three more goals in the first quarter, getting contributions from Cambere, sophomore John Rick and senior Ethan Gwaltney to take a 4-0 lead at the end of the first period.
The Wildcats responded with back-to-back scores to start the second quarter and cut the Baylor lead to 4-2.
From that point, the Baylor offense never looked back. The Bears finished the half on a 6-0 run, with two of those goals coming from Cambere, as Baylor took a 10-2 lead into the break.
The third quarter saw much of the same action, with Gwaltney and Cambere netting two more goals apiece while the Bears held the Wildcats to just two goals.
Abilene Christian scored four times in the fourth period, but it was not enough to overcome the early deficit as the Bears went on to win, 19-8.
Cambere expressed his satisfaction with the offense despite new faces.
“We’ve got two new additions on offense,” Cambere said. “We just kind of worked our offense and that’s the way it worked out.”
Cambere and Gwaltney led the Bears in scoring with six goals apiece. Gwaltney was also first on the team in assists with three.
Baylor senior goalie Matt Milburn recorded 13 saves in the win, including six in the fourth quarter.
Baylor head coach Mike McAdams expressed the importance of the winning the first game of the season and finally seeing his players in action.
“We gelled as a team,” McAdams said. “For some of our guys, we wanted to see if they were going to be tenacious enough to do the little things that help us win. So it was super important because it sets the tone for the rest of the season.
The Bears play in the Lone Star Alliance division of the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association. The LSA includes Division I and II teams from Texas, Arkansas, Louisiana and Oklahoma. Baylor had previously been Division I but were realigned to D-II this year, providing motivation to Cambere and his teammates.
“We dropped down to D-II this year,” Cambere said. “In the preseason rankings, we got scuffed a little bit. Nobody thinks anything of us, but this is the best team I’ve seen Baylor Lacrosse put on the field.”
McAdams says that transition offense and bringing players up to speed on the defensive end are improvements his team needs to make.
“Some of the things we need to improve on is transition game and a settled offense,” McAdams said. “As far as bringing our newer players to become more productive from a defensive standpoint is something we can work towards as well.”
Baylor takes the field at 3 p.m. next Saturday as they travel to face Dallas Baptist.