February 14, 2009 (Moraga, Calif.)- The Saint Mary's men’s lacrosse team faced a difficult loss against Chico State on Saturday, February 14th. The final score was Chico-16 SMC-5. Fortunately for Head Coach Colin Knightly the loss strengthened not only unity amongst the team, but also the Gael's in-game performance. After being beaten on Saint Mary's own lacrosse battlefield, the Gaels will be hungry for a win against Dominican on Saturday the 21st.
Disappointed About the Loss To Chico 5-16; But Not Disheartened About the Future
Dillon Valadez ‘10
After a resoundingly decisive victory just one week before, the Gaels were surprised by the outcome of the Chico State game last Saturday. The odds may have been stacked against the Gaels, Chico being a larger school with a 40 person team vs. Saint Mary’s 20; however the pre-game spirit was high. In a preseason game versus Chico the Gaels managed to tie Chico’s “A” squad, and this last Saturday were planning on competing just as strongly.
The score, although slightly in favor of the Wildcats, still had an air of plausibility for a win for the better half of the first quarter. Certainly the Gaels came out strong, and the young players proved to be a large contribution, namely Mackenzie Donoghue who marked one of the first goals of the game and later found the back of the net for three more goals (60% of the Gaels entire end-game score). Unfortunately, and arguably the key moment of the game occurred when Eli Kutler’s stick was measured by the referee, who found it to be an inch short of legal. Although it is hard to argue with the evidence, the Gael bench was taken off guard by this change of events. The stick Eli uses, although unsightly and undoubtedly strange in appearance to even a veteran player, is not unheard of.
In the official rules of Lacrosse a total of four players at a time may carry a long crosse, longer than 52” but less than 72”, however most defensive players choose to carry the 72” stick for the advantage of extra checking ability. Eli’s happened to be 51”, just under the requirement, causing the team to play at a man down disadvantage for a near eternity in lacrosse, 3 minutes.
To Chico’s benefit, they capitalized on the opportunity. Chico, a strong team in many ways, also possess a unique weapon of a talented defensive players, equally capable of shooting. During the penalty time Chico managed run away with score making it 10-2 by the time the penalty was over.
Its moments like these where one always wonders what could have happened if the cookie had crumbled differently. What would have happened if the Cubs fan in 2003 had not interfered with Moises Alou catching Luis Castillo’s foul ball? Although not quite as monumental as a World Series, Saint Mary’s took to the loss hard. Although disappointed, the feeling among the Gaels is that the next round with the Wildcats will be different.