Club Lacrosse Shows Promise in Victory
Men's team defeats Saint Mary's on newly turfed Bellomy Field
Published: Wednesday, November 2, 2011
Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2011 12:11
The Santa Clara men's lacrosse team broke in the new turf on Bellomy Field on Saturday morning with a strong 12-5 win over rival Saint Mary's College.
The Broncos maintained consistent possession of the ball throughout the game and despite a slow first quarter, they opened up the scoring late in the game for a convincing victory. Although this match was merely a preseason friendly, Saint Mary's is a conference rival, and the win was promising for a Santa Clara team that is looking forward to the spring season.
With 15 freshmen returning this season, the team is hoping to be stronger and more complete.
"We started with all freshmen last year," said assistant coach John Walsh, "but this year we have more depth at every position. We only lost four seniors last year, and we've got a good crop of freshmen."
This optimism translated into Saturday's preseason match-up, as the Broncos played a dominating possession game on offense, moving the ball quickly and striking when Saint Mary's could no longer hold them back. The two teams had met only two weekends before at the UC Davis CALI tournament, where the Broncos earned a 9-1 victory. Consequently, the Gaels seemed intent on playing a defensive game in order to redeem themselves.
The first quarter was scoreless until Santa Clara finally found the back of the net with 1:29 left in the frame. The Broncos would score again before the quarter was over. Although the Gaels managed to score in the second quarter, they found themselves unable to contain Santa Clara, which tacked on two more points to lead 4-1 at the half.
After the break, it was clear that the Broncos had not lost their momentum during halftime. Santa Clara was ready to extend the lead and their stifling defense pressured Saint Mary's into multiple turnovers. This defensive tenacity led to fast-break offense for the Broncos.
But Santa Clara still had trouble finishing off their chances. After five minutes of several shots ricocheting off the goal posts, the Broncos finally managed a break through and scored three times in four minutes. Saint Mary's answered with a goal of their own, but Santa Clara would strike again before the third quarter could end. The Broncos would have another four goals in the final period. With a final score of 12-5, there was no denying that the Broncos' victory was well-deserved.
Freshman Joey Coleman and sophomore AJ Von Massenhausen led the Santa Clara offense with 3 goals and 1 assist apiece.
Senior Matthew Baker, a member of the team for the past four years and the current team president, expressed his excitement about the upcoming season with the developing team.
"Even though it's still a young team, all the incoming freshmen are more on board with what the team is trying to accomplish," said Baker. "We're trying to play at a faster pace and to go farther this year. The team is clicking faster and has been better at promoting unity."
Head coach Gary Podesta is hoping that his players will be able to accomplish the goals he has set down for them.
"We're trying to have more intelligent play, and more depth in more positions," explained Podesta. "We are really working on developing our younger players."
Although the team is still young, they have the foundation to advance and improve this upcoming spring season. The ever-increasing team unity, which was on full display against the Gaels on Saturday, will be one of the primary factors that will make Santa Clara a stronger, faster and more fine-tuned force. This spring season promises to be exciting for the Broncos.
Contact Emily Schultz at firstname.lastname@example.org.