ASHLAND, Va. – Randolph-Macon men's lacrosse reached its best season in five years, finishing 2018 with an appearance in the Old Dominion Athletic Conference tournament quarterfinal and racking up a 10-8 record. R-MC last reached ten wins in 2013, when the team was 10-9.
The team landed four players on the Old Dominion Athletic Conference All-ODAC teams while senior Kyle Keepers (Roswell, GA / Roswell)) was honored for his work on and off the field as a United States Intercollegiate Lacrosse Association (USILA) Scholar All-American. Keepers alongside fellow senior Kyle Geblein (Hagerstown, MD / Smithsburg) was honored as All-ODAC second teamers while senior Tyee Buttrey (Damascus, MD / Damascus) and sophomore Ryan Tiffey (Colombia, Md. / Wilde Lake) were honored as All-ODAC third teamers.
Three players have also written themselves into the R-MC history books. Keepers and fellow seniors Coleman Adams (Mechanicsville, VA / St. Christopher's) and Miles Muncie (Midlothian, VA / Midlothian) will leave R-MC with top finishes in various categories. Adams will leave with the 18th most points in school history with 98. He also finishes with the 10th most assists in school history with 45. Keepers' 93 career goals ranks eighth all-time and his 126 career points ranks ninth all-time. Muncie led the team in scoring this season with 37 goals, the 9th most goals scored in a singles season. He also has the eighth most goals in a single season with 38 as a junior. Muncie's 121 goals rank third all-time in school history in a career while his 143 points ranks fifth all-time.
Other members of the senior class helped anchor the team over the last four years, setting up the success of this season. Geblein and fellow senior Andrew Venezia (Rockville, MD / Good Counsel) anchored a defensive unit that totaled 149 caused turnovers this season. Geblein, a two-time captain for R-MC, finishes his career with 134 ground balls and 66 caused turnovers total. Venezia finishes with 74 ground balls and 39 caused turnovers.
Midfielders Buttrey, his brother Tait Buttrey (Damascus, MD / Damascus) and fellow senior Alex Camilliere (Huntingtown, MD / Huntingtown) worked to create opportunities on attack, strengthen the team's defensive alignment and were part of an entire team that picked up 527 ground balls this season. Tyee Buttrey finishes his career with 60 ground balls and 22 caused turnovers, along with three goals and 11 assists. Tait Buttrey finishes his career with 11 goals, three assists and 29 ground balls. Camilliere finishes his career with 67 goals, 15 assists and 69 ground balls.
Also in the midfield, sophomore Tyler Flora (Mechanicsville, Va. / Hanover) was the team leader in ground balls this season, picking up 58 as a standout defensively.
In attaining ten wins, R-MC had a pair of stellar games to begin March, scoring a close victory over Haverford 5-3 and a strong come-from-behind victory of St. Mary's (Md.) 12-10. In that contest against the Seahawks, R-MC was down 9-5 early in the fourth quarter. But two goals each by Keepers, Muncie and sophomore Colin DiSesa (Ashland, Va. / Hanover) plus a goal by Tiffey pushed R-MC ahead to the two goal victory. Keepers also had three assists in the critical final frame.
The Yellow Jackets also got three critical ODAC victories over Bridgewater, Shenandoah and Guilford. Against the Eagles, sophomore Brendan Markovic (Westminster, Md. / Winters Mill) scored the game winner in the third quarter after the Eagles had tied the game to begin the frame. Camilliere, Tiffey and Muncie each added a goal late to settle on the 10-7 final.
Against Shenandoah, R-MC shut out the Hornets in the third quarter, while scoring five to put the Yellow Jackets up by eight heading into the fourth quarter. Markovic scored three straight in the frame to give the Yellow Jackets an 11-3, while Muncie and sophomore Nate Malinowski (Middle River, Md. / Boys' Latin) also added one each in the third. R-MC had been set up early by a pair of goals from Muncie and one each from Tiffey, DiSesa, Keepers and Markovic.
In the final game of the season and against a team that was in the hunt for better placement in the ODAC Tournament, R-MC went for eight goals in the opening quarter to ensure that the Yellow Jackets would finish the season as the fifth seed for the tourney. Keepers scored three goals in the quarter while Tiffey added a pair of assists.
This season offered a chance to see the payoff for the efforts the team has been putting in over the past few seasons, growing together to attain the ten win season. Without a doubt, Randolph-Macon is a lacrosse team on the rise and will continue to grow as they work to bring even more victories into the win column.