Wednesday night (TOMORROW), Saint Xavier Lacrosse will play its most important game of the season, and this year it’s coming a little earlier than expected. The Tigers will face arch rival Trinity in the state semifinal matchup. For the past 10 years, it seems as though every year it has come down to the two teams in the championship, which is interesting due to the fact that the playoff seeding is completely random. This year, however, the Tigers will need to show out in the semis against the Rocks if they want the chance to play for the State Championship. It’s the most exciting part of the season – win or go home – and the Tigers are ready to win.
Of course the two rivals battled it out in a fun regular season matchup. The Tigers went in the favorite and left the same way, yet the game was nothing short of a challenge. The two teams traded goals the entire game up until the final moments, when a short run put Trinity up by two goals. The Tigers managed to get two goals in the final 45 seconds to push the game to sudden death overtime, where St. X would eventually win on a Leland Gray goal at the buzzer.
This time around, though, there will many changes in the flow of the game. Both teams have had their fair share of bumps and bruises since the regular season game, causing each team change up its system. Fortunately for the Tigers, the only difference should be on defense, where sophomore Paul Porter will be playing in place of senior Owen Peters, who suffered a foot injury just before the Virginia spring break trip.
Trinity has really been hit hard. Senior long-stick midfielder Jeremiah Hemme was hurt for the remainder of the season after breaking his wrist during the previous St. X vs. Trinity matchup. Hemme was a D-1 recruit who was an enforcer on defense while also being a scoring threat, putting two goals past Max Cartor during the regular season match. Senior attackman Austin Graehler will also miss the rest of the season with a broken foot. Graehler scored five goals in the previous game against St. X.
St. X has been the dominant force in the past seven years, and this year should be no different. Porter has stepped in for Owen Peters and played well. He was able to get experience in the trip up to Virginia, and has really become a force on defense. The duo of Coleman Webb and Alex Cherry in the faceoff circle has been straight up dirty. We’re talking about a reigning All-American (Webb) and another senior who’s played just as well or even better at some points in the season.
The biggest thing for me is the injuries on Trinity’s end. The Rocks mustered 9 goals against St. X in what was just about the best game they could have played…and 7 of those 9 goals came from the two players who won’t be in uniform tomorrow. I just don’t see Trinity being able to put two people out there that are as effective as Hemme and Graehler. They already relied on two players to carry the bulk of the team, and now with the two players out, they have no one to turn to.
I’ve been watching every game this season, I’ve played the game for years and I’ve also had inside talks with players. My prediction is St. X wins 12-4. I can’t guarantee that score, but I can tell you that this game will be very different from the one we saw in Marshall Stadium during the regular season. One thing we can’t overlook, Tiger Nation, is that the crowd will play a part in this game; it always has, and it always will. So get out to Br. Thomas More Page Stadium and get rowdy.
Go Tigers! We Are!
Saint Xavier Lacrosse has taken no time off this season, as the Tigers experienced substantial success against out-of-state teams and dominated another in-state foe. Let’s take a look at their week in review.
Last Saturday, the Tigers drove the two hour trip up to Zionsville, Indiana where they played a great game against Zionsville High School. St. X roared offensively throughout the game, putting up 14 goals. The attack led the way, with Collin Roppel scoring 4 goals and dishing out 6 assists, Leland Gray netting 4 goals and Will Edwards putting in 4. In the end, St. X defeated the strong Indiana team 14-7, boosting its record to 3-0 on the season.
The next day, the Tigers rose early to take on highly-touted Carmel High School from Indianapolis. Carmel proved to be a bigger force than Zionsville and kept St. X in a close battle from start to finish. The bulk of the offense came from the middies in this game, seeing many familiar names like Blake Roshkowski, Alex Cherry, and Corbyn Buchart put in work. Regulation ended in a 9-9 tie. In sudden-death overtime, Carmel scored first on a controversial call, as the Greyhound who scored the goal was probably in the crease, which would have negated the goal. The Tigers fell by a final score of 9-10, giving them their first loss of the season.
The Indiana trip was a good one for the team. Although they split the games, the overtime push against Carmel proved that defeating this squad will be very tough.
The following Wednesday, St. X hosted Henry Clay High School. Henry Clay did not give the Tigers much of a game, and St. X handled the Blue Devils easily from the start. The final score stood at 14-2, and the Tigers were able to rotate all of their players through the game.
This past Saturday, St. X welcomed Libertyville High School from Chicago following prom night for the seniors. Libertyville was able to hold the ball for some parts of the game, yet St. X still dominated most of the match. Edwards again showed out, finishing with four goals. The individual defensive effort by goalie Max Cartor was great as well, as he put up one of his best performances of the season so far. In the end, the Tigers won 14-7 over the visiting Wildcats.
This coming Wednesday is the big rivalry game. St. X travels to Trinity in what will be one of the toughest matchups of the season. Recently, Trinity has looked good, beating Libertyville 11-7 the day after the Tigers played them. St. X will hope to keep the young offense and big, experienced Trinity defense in check to continue on the road to another State Championship.
Both the JV and Varsity lacrosse teams started off their regular season play with strong wins against Paul Dunbar. The JV squad started the day with a flury of quick scores, building up an impenetrable lead. With scores from Joey Mackin, Chase Mattingly, Andrew Caneris, John Mueller, Cole Stumler (2), Cameron Simoneaux, Tyler Copeland, Jay Bentley, and Griffin Jung, including a Hat-trick from Zach Goldberg and a solid showcase of goaltending from Jonathan Benz and Hudson Hill, the JV team was practically unstoppable. The team finished off Paul Dunbar’s JV team 14-0, helping Head Coach James Frank earn his first win as head JV lacrosse coach.
Varsity came out flying, setting the tempo with four early goals. The Tigers quickly rallied behind Senior Raike Thornewill, who alone scored five goals. St. X dominated the face-off “X”, hardly ever allowing Dunbar to control possession. Coleman Webb and Alex Cherry took early control of the face offs, allowing the Tigers to possess the ball for most of the game. The Tiger defense, led by Senior Evan Caffee, shut down any offensive attempts by Dunbar, allowing only two goals (both coming in the final minutes of the fourth quarter). Junior Max Cartor played an outstanding game in goal; After playing three quarters of the game, he had not allowed a single goal. The Tigers easily handled Dunbar, winning 16-2. The win serves as a nice foundation for the Tiger’s run at reclaiming the state title in late May.
The JV and Varsity Tigers travel to Nashville this Saturday to play Montgomery Bell Academy (MBA), a nationally ranked high school team. Last year, St. X took the sweep in these games as MBA traveled up to St. X. However, with Montgomery Bell coming back stronger than ever, the Tigers will look to escape Nashville with a tough road win.