By Alex Leichenger
A one-goal loss to Loyola was the boysâ lacrosse teamâs 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 Wolverinesâ 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 teamâs 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 â10 and Spencer Ward â11, 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 playersâ versatility. Little emphasized the significance of Herrarteâs six groundballs, which ties him for second on the team with Joey Edwards â10 and Will Oliver â11. 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 donât get those, itâs 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 OâToole â10, 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.
“Heâs a workhorse,” Haddad said. “And when a workhorse does a lot of work, it needs some rest, otherwise itâs going to break down.”
Goalie Barrett Meister â10 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.”