Staff Writer: Ben Robertson
The 2022 Wingate men’s lacrosse team has rolled to an 8-2 start as they hunt for their fourth South Atlantic Conference (SAC) Championship under head coach Tim Boyle.
They opened the season with two straight wins against Barton and the then fourth-ranked Mercyhurst before falling to the defending national champions Le Moyne in a close battle.
They then rattled off four straight wins, including three against nationally-ranked opponents in Mount Olive, Limestone, and Queens.
After these huge victories, they suffered a setback, losing to Anderson in a massive upset. However, they hopped right back on their winning ways with a dominating two games against Mars Hill and Catawba where they won by a combined score of 36-13.
Junior attack and returning All-American Willie Grieco is off to another unreal season with 31 goals and 36 assists. Grieco leads the nation in total points. In their victory against rival Limestone in the Crown Classic, held at American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, he scored a game-winner in overtime. With the game tied at 10, Grieco picked up the ball behind the goal, blew past his defender, and finished with his right hand to seal the victory in a wild affair.
The rest of the attack line has been excellent as well. Fifth-year senior Bobby Padden has 30 goals and 23 assists and broke the Wingate all-time goals record as well in the win at Mars Hill. His good friend Adam Vodovnik has tallied 28 goals himself. Vodovnik broke the single-season goals record at Wingate during the 2021 campaign.
Junior midfield Danny Riley, another returning All-American, has been excellent out of the box, scoring 20 goals and adding 7 assists. Other junior midfielders Daman Lingasin and John Natoli have been solid as well, notching 9 and 6 goals respectively. Junior man-up specialist Marc Cottage Jr. has contributed his share, putting away 9 goals.
With four games remaining in the regular season, including a huge matchup with conference rival Lenoir Rhyne, the Bulldogs are primed to peak at the right time heading into the SAC Tournament.