Mixed emotions after the loss to Catholic leave me feeling like a hot fudge sundae.
The big rivalry game comes around once a year for pretty much every team in sports. Ours came around this weekend. Dutchtown vs Catholic – a battle no less storied than David vs Goliath.
Catholic is an extremely well coached lacrosse team that rarely makes mistakes. What they may lack in aggression, they make up for in patience and ball control. I told my players that if Catholic gets possession, they will work the ball around for 47 minutes, wait for us to slip up, score in the 48th minute and win 1-0. That’s how patient Catholic is.
With their roster of about 7,000 players, we knew this was going to be a battle of stamina. With our game film, we knew their game plan was to feed the crease all day long to a stellar attackman, Jake Guba. We knew that we couldn’t let last year’s results repeat themselves – a Catholic victory of 18-2.
Game film commences. Studying X’s & O’s commences. Practice commences.
Last week’s practice, to be frank, had me concerned. The team just didn’t look like they were clicking. It’s not that our hearts weren’t in it – but our heads weren’t. Sloppy passes, forced offense, lackadaisical clearing – everything was just missing.
Also the fact that we’re STILL practicing on a little league baseball field that is now under construction doesn’t help (I’m praying for the Powerball to come my way so that I may one day build us a turf practice and game facility….*sigh*).
Update: Effective today, 3/1, we’ve been asked to not return to the field. So we don’t have a practice field right now. (Editor’s Note: come together Louisiana Lax Community, help these guys find a practice field!)
Saturday morning rolls around. I’m anxious/stressed/ready/excited. Coach emotions on game day. The players look ready. They’re telling me they’re fired up. I can tell they’re fired up.
The thing is, even though this Catholic team is really good, really patient, really well coached, I know that we can beat them. Our improvement as a second year team is nothing short of remarkable, and our heart, passion, love for the game is unparalleled. The odds are against us – we like the odds. This isn’t a math contest after all. It’s a physical competition.
The whistle blows and the clock starts ticking. We get the first possession. Good start. But quickly after, we start forcing passes that aren’t there, or trying to drive through triple teams. They get possession, and in true Catholic fashion, destroyed the clock.
Our defense performs admirably, shutting down Guba and the crease feeds. Penalties get the best of us, though, and they start tallying goals on Man Up possessions.
I’ll go on the record and say that I absolutely hate this unreleasable “illegal body check – shot to the head” rule. Hate it. It has all but eliminated body checking/crease clearing/effective sliding.
Fourth quarter gut check time. We’re down 7-2. Been here before, and hated being there almost as much as we hate the “no body checking” rule.
The inability for our players to give up and quit never ceases to amaze me. I wish I could tell you a “greatest comeback in Dutchtown history” story, but I don’t have one today. The players left their hearts on the field, and came up one goal short.
Final: 7-6, Catholic win.
Impressions: I’m a hot fudge sundae.
I’m cold like ice cream. We could have won. If we had practiced harder, cleared better, gotten less penalties, or thought “one more pass,” that game could have gone a totally different way.
Even from an administrative standpoint, I’m upset. If we had just a little more money, or a full field, or even HALF of a field, we could have practiced the right things. Instead, we’re so cramped at practice, we can’t even take a look at clears.
It’s a tough pill to swallow when you know that your team is the best team in the state. When you know that you could have and should have beat your rival, and yet come up one goal short. When you honestly feel like you didn’t lose, you just ran out of time.
I’m hot like hot fudge. Never forgetting how far we’ve come in just one short year. This year we came up one goal short. Last year we came up 16 goals short. I don’t care how you look at it, that’s remarkable improvement.
I’m also very proud that the players didn’t roll over and die in the 4th quarter. Hell, when they were down 7-2, that’s when they came alive. I think that speaks highly of how resilient this team is. They definitely didn’t quit. They poured their hearts on the field.
I hope that our parents and fans are smart enough to realize how far along we’ve come and be proud of us.
Dutchtown Lacrosse isn’t going anywhere. We’re just getting warmed up.
This week: Bye week. We have our first home game of the season, against the Lafayette Lions on March 13th.
We will regroup, and we will get focused at practice the next two weeks.
The last boxla game of the Baton Rouge winter season went down Sunday night at Premier Soccer Center.
What a blast this was. It was incredible preseason training for the team, and gave us the opportunity to play real box lacrosse. I honestly thought I would go my entire life without playing this game. Looks like it’s never too late to be surprised.
Possibly the best 80’s soundtrack montage music to ever be laid down on tape. Thank you, Stan Bush.
LSU Tigers had a rough road trip this weekend, losing to Ole Miss, Auburn, and South Carolina.
Thanks to @COCKSLAX_Report for posting this video about the Tigers spirit.
Oh, how this makes me wish I could play for LSU, for just one season, or even one game. I loved my time at LSU, and all the things I participated in…
But having not played lacrosse there has left me with an encumbering, demoralizing, crippling, paralyzing regret.
I hope that anyone who has ever played lacrosse, and intends on going to LSU, gives what I just said a thought before choosing to skip tryouts. If you love this sport, and choose not to play, you will hate yourself.
Did Penn really beat Duke?