Editor’s note: The following was written by Matt “Ramathorne” Ramsey of the Connecticut Valley Lacrosse Club, a competitive post-collegiate team competing in the American Lacrosse League.
What a weekend; it was sunny, warm and a great time to be outside playing lacrosse. On Sunday, March 7 most American Lacrosse League teams stepped on to the field for the first time this season. On the Connecticut Valley sidelines there was a overwhelming feeling of excitement mixed with anxiety to take charge of their first game versus HomeGrown Lacrosse Club out of Haverhill, Massachusetts.
CVLC vs HomeGrown
The game started off with a bang; Connecticut Valley took an early 2-0 lead on goals by former Skidmore College All-American Charlie McNeil and Eastern Connecticut legend Billy Mo. The play was sloppy, uncoordinated, and expected for the teams where most guys haven’t been on a lacrosse field since the prior year’s season. Face-Offs were key in this game and Connecticut Valley had no trouble securing 75% of them. Muff, an amateur diver, lost two face-offs the entire game and clearly desired those brews afterwards.
Once the team settled in the referees had as well. Soon the turf at Eastern Connecticut State University was yellow as our indecisive referees began agreeing on calls. Were we happy with these calls? Absolutely not. Did we pout and complain? Maybe a little bit, but that’s expected. Slight pushes were called as “roughing” and consequently because of our foul mouths a couple of guys were sent to the sin bin for “profanity”. The penalties we allowed ourselves to get caught up in also allowed HomeGrown’s Canadian duo the chance to even the score…but they didn’t. Connecticut Valley held a safe 7-5 advantage after two.
The second half, was not so great. In the American Lacrosse League quarters are 20 minutes long and running time. While that may have faired well for Connecticut Valley because of our deep bench, it didn’t change our complacency when it came to the short bench on the other side of the box.
HomeGrown had 2 subs for the entire game; CVLC had 18. HomeGrown was tired and running out of steam. CVLC was not. HomeGrown decided to score some goals. CVLC decided to let them and stop going to the cage. The third quarter was as sloppy as they get and the moral on the sideline went from cheery and excitable to “what do we do now”.
Going into the fourth quarter the game was tied 8-8, even though we had fresh legs we played down to the other teams level allowing them to take a commanding 11-8 lead with just 10 minutes remaining to play. For the last ten minutes we crawled back in with goals from former WNEC superstar Brian Praetorius, Greensboro sharpshooter Matt Perry, and Donny…who was clearly out of his element, but managed. He got lucky because Walter was just about ready to kill him.
With just one minute left to play Connecticut Valley took the lead 13-12 and ran the clock out to grab the “W”. It was a hard fought game and a great day to play lacrosse. Nobody was satisfied with the referees, but it happens in every sport…bad calls or good calls, you can interpret them any way you want and each time there is a chance that someone will be unhappy. HomeGrown is a solid team and played well; should they have had a deeper bench the result could have been different.
Crabs Next Week
Next weekend the stacked roster of Boston Crabs Lacrosse Club travels down to Eastern Connecticut State University’s turf field to battle Connecticut Valley in what is speculated to be not the best of conditions weather-wise.
With our first game out of the way we, as a team, know what to focus on and what will be our keys to victory. Although our keeper, Matt Hoffman, made some stellar saves and we peppered HomeGrown’s goalie with shots we cannot miss our chances and hope that our goalie keeps us out of trouble.
Around The American Lacrosse League
Around the league other teams got at it with some very close games and some not so close. Boston Crabs LC defended their home turf and pulled out a 9-8 victory over Bay State LC. North Shore LC also managed to steal a win from New Hampshire’s Warpigs LC. In New Jersey, Tri-State LC bested the Lurkers 18-5, HealthQuest stumbled against Bulls LC losing 9-7 and the Jersey Thunder beat up on South Jersey LC 8-4.
Other scores from Sunday included; Charm City Warhawks 16 Baltimore Fire 3, Delaware LC 18 Main Street Tower LC 2, Hagerstown Bud Light 11 Nobles LC 6, and Portside LC 14 North County LC 5.
About the author: Ramathorne’s career took him from the Varsity fields of Southington High School and the Nutmeg Elite Lacrosse programs to Division III top 25 school, Eastern Connecticut State University. Ramsay played as a midfielder for the Warriors from 2005-2008 helping the team to a Little East Conference Championship in 2006 and a birth into the Division III National Championship Tournament.
After graduating from Eastern Connecticut Ramsay assisted with the Rip-It Lacrosse program and currently runs Connecticut Calley Lacrosse Club, a competitive post-collegiate team competing in the American Lacrosse League.