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Vandal Shots Week 14: First Game Jitters & Triangle D

6 - Published February 24, 2010 by in College

Editor’s note: The Idaho Vandals are an MCLA D1 team, competing in the Pacific Northwest Conference. Krieg Shaw, a senior midfielder, will be contributing photos on a weekly basis all season long. Check out all of the Vandal Shots photo blogs.
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Whew, first game under our belt, now we can keep moving forward and continue to work towards our season goals. This was a great game to start our season with for many reasons, it was a one game weekend, only two hours from home, we won and now we can see where we need to focus this week in practice.

We have to get ready for some tough games next weekend when we travel to Oregon to play a tough Oregon State squad (2-1) and a much improved Portland State team who is already boasting a 3-0 record with wins over UC Davis, Nevada-Reno and Willamette. It’s going to be a tough weekend so hopefully we use every second of practice this week to prepare for it.

Goalie Blake Uphus keeping a watchful eye on the ball, he finished the game with eight saves

This past weekend we traveled the whole 120 miles to Walla Walla, WA to play Whitman College (D2) who came into the season ranked 20th in the MCLA D2. Both the weather and the game had a foggy start with both teams coming out pretty slow, trying to knock off the rust and get out the first game jitters. Fortunately for us, we were able to execute on both sides of the field and ended the first quarter with a 2-0 lead.

Our defense continues to be a tough, physical presence on the field.

Ben Lavigne with the hit

Once we knocked off the rust though we really started to find our groove and were able to put in seven goals in the second quarter while holding them to a single goal, going into the second half 9-1. The third quarter (and most of the game, in fact) was riddled with penalties and sloppy play by us. I’m pretty sure the ball seemed to be on the ground for at least a third of the quarter.

When it wasn’t, Whitman was able to find some flow in the offensive side of the field and worked their man-up opportunities and put in four quality goals on nice feeds to the crease while holding us to only three goals.

Sean Harrington d-ing up on Whitman attack Bidnam Lee

The fourth quarter was probably the most fun quarter to watch as far as quality lacrosse goes and both teams had found their offensive and defensive players stepping up. Whitman had several great looks but couldn’t seem to find the cage.

This is also where I feel our athleticism and transition really started to pay off with getting the ball out of our defensive zone and setting up some decent offensive possession and looks. We were able to put in three while our defense really locked down through penalties and odd calls and held Whitman scoreless to finish the game.

Eric Fletcher riding hard against a Whitman d-pole

One thing I noticed we really need to work on was our penalties, no matter how tight the reffing was; we ended the game with four guys in the penalty box.

A little 6 vs. 3 action to finish out the game…they didn’t score

This game also decided for me who would be the feature player of the week. Freshman attackman Kyle Morse threw out the idea of first game jitters, putting up four goals and three assists in his first collegiate game.

Kyle was on fire from the first to the last whistle and just seemed determined to put the ball in the cage, whether that was shooting or feeding. He also doubled as a faceoff middie and put up a solid percentage at the faceoff X. He was definitely a workhorse Saturday, phenomenal performance to say the least.

Kyle Morse doing some work on the midfield side of things

Check out the game and stats from Idaho vs. Whitman over on MCLA.us.

In my wanderings of the internet I found a pretty cool slideshow of 2009 at the University Idaho with some quality pictures of events and general life around campus, much better than any pictures I could take. Enjoy.

All photos are courtesy of my mom, she takes great pictures and luckily for me, likes to travel to our games.
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