Lacrosse nears league title

 

By Alex Leichenger

A one-goal loss to Loyola was the boys’ lacrosse team’s only defeat in the last month. The team defeated Crespi 8-6 Saturday to win for the 10th time in 11 games through Monday. The 10-3 Wolverines played at Chaminade last night after press time.

The Wolverines’ wins have been close, a 10-5 win over Peninsula April 17 being the most lopsided since a 17-0 rout of Viewpoint March 16. The team won three straight games in March and April by a combined four goals.

Head Coach Mark Haddad is pleased with the team’s balance and depth.

“Consistently, every game, we have five to eight kids who are scoring points,” Haddad said. “We have a lot more kids contributing, kids that we never thought would be contributing.”

Offensive Coordinator Jared Little said players like midfielders Alex Herrarte ’10 and Spencer Ward ’11, who “can take the ball from defense to offense,” have provided the team with a dimension that was missing last season.

Little said the Wolverines are scoring two to four points per game off transition because of these players’ versatility. Little emphasized the significance of Herrarte’s six groundballs, which ties him for second on the team with Joey Edwards ’10 and Will Oliver ’11. A groundball is when a player picks up a loose ball on the field.

Although they are playing “a lot more controlled lacrosse” than they were at the beginning of the season, the Wolverines still need to cut down on turnovers, Haddad said. And the loss to Loyola, a game the Wolverines were favored to win, has kept the squad grounded despite its multitude of victories, Little said.

“Those were games we should have had,” he said. “And when you don’t get those, it’s a good lesson in humility.”

The team has been hit with a slew of minor injuries in recent weeks, including shin splints and sore necks, backs and knees. But player depth and resourcefulness by the coaching staff have prevented a drop-off in performance as adjustments to the lineup have been made, Haddad said.

Midfielder Conor O’Toole ’10, who leads the team with 45 points and 11 groundballs, was held out of the Peninsula game in order to be fresh for the playoffs.

“He’s a workhorse,” Haddad said. “And when a workhorse does a lot of work, it needs some rest, otherwise it’s going to break down.”

Goalie Barrett Meister ’10 said the team should be able to make a playoff run if it improves two of its aspects.

“What we need to work on is moving the ball on offense, which we did a great a job of last game,” Meister said. “And…we need to work on fastbreak defense.”

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