The Tiger Lacrosse team will begin their defense of their three consecutive titles this upcoming Friday when they play Father Ryan, a team from Nashville, TN. We’ll start to focus on the opponent in the upcoming days, but we want to take a quick look at who the LAX team will be returning this season. We are going to highlight some position groups, and focus on who is poised for a big year. Let’s see how the Tigers look this year!
The Tigers lost their leading scorer from last year, John Mueller. Mueller scored 41 goals along with having 18 assists and was a key leader for last year’s team. He will be tough to replace because of his size and athleticism.
The Tigers return 2 of 3 starters at attack. Junior Keegan Puffer and senior Joey Mackin will look to pick up right where they left off. Puffer, who had a team high 33 assists last season, along with 24 goals, looks to add to what was a very strong sophomore season. He is very shifty and can easily maneuver himself through the defense, which plays in his favor. Mackin also looks to pick up where he left off last season. He had 22 goals, along with 27 assists for the Tigers. Both Mackin and Puffer will be need to have great seasons if this team wants to win a fourth straight state championship. Senior Nic Malubay saw limited playing time last year, but will see that increased in the 2017 season. He scored 5 goals and added 11 assists last year. However, there is no doubt these numbers will take a big jump. Malubay recently committed to play lacrosse at Centre College which shows the ability he has to make this a special season for him and the rest of his teammates.
Sophomore Will Hubbs will look for an increased role on the Varsity team this year. Hubbs was pulled up from the JV team mid-season last year and will look to build on what was a solid season on the JV squad.
Corbyn Buchart , currently playing with Transylvania University, was the Tigers leading face-off man last season. He won 101 face-offs, while only losing 59. Buchart was a great face-off player whose play on both sides of the field helped the Tigers tremendously.
The Tigers return almost all of their main midfielders from last season. Jake Zickel, Patrick Anderson, Blake Roshkowski, Will Ginter, and Cole Stumler will see most of the playing time at this position. Roshkowski was held on the sidelines last year after an ACL injury during the preseason. He is now coming off of another ACL injury from football season, but was just recently cleared to play. It will be interesting to see how the former All-State midfielder returns to form coming off two season-ending injuries. Zickel and Anderson will provide an inside-outside combo. Zickel tends to play around the crease, while Anderson will make the most of his opportunities off shooting from the outside.
Cole Stumler will return as the Tigers’ lead face off man. He backed up Buchart last year and will look to increase his role this year. Peyton Bray will also help carry the load on face offs and appears to be a good distributor for the Tigers.
Will Ginter and Harrison Pate highlight the defensive midfielders and will look to have a strong season. Ginter specifically can force a turnover, then torch the other team with his blazing speed and ability to get up and down the field.
Overall, all of the midfielders have great knowledge about the game which is often overlooked.
Caleb Grimes has been a main stead for the Tiger Defense since his freshman year. The Tigers will feel the loss of Grimes’ leadership and his ability on that side of the field. He was the lockdown defender for the Tigers, so someone will need to step into that role.
Other than Grimes, the Tigers return majority of the starters on the defensive side, which seems to be a popular theme this year. Seniors Paul Porter and Matthew Shewmaker along with juniors Max Malkani and Ben Mueller will be big for the Tigers on defense. Porter, who had a team high 45 ground balls last season, will look to be a leader this year on defense. Shewmaker saw some playing time last year, but will definitely see his action increased this year. His speed and agility will make him a big-time player for the Tigers. Mueller and Malkani are both very tall with long arms which plays in their favor, especially on defense. Their footwork is also key to their success.
The goalie position is pretty much locked up for the upcoming season. Senior Hudson Hill and now graduate Bryce Perram switched off at this key position last year. However, Hill should see almost all of the playing time this season. Last year he saved 33 shots on 80 shots on goal. Hill looks to have a strong season at arguably the hardest and most important position on the field.
The Tigers have a tough out-of-state schedule, and if they are successful, they could climb up the National Rankings quickly. This schedule is highlighted by Cincinnati St.X and Cathedral, who were the 5th and 7th ranked teams in the Midwest by Inside Lacrosse last year. In Kentucky, the Tigers look to continue their dominance in the Bluegrass. Their top competition for the State Title this year looks to be that team on Shelbyville Road, but the Tigers have not lost to them since 2013.
The Tiger Lacrosse team are the 3x Defending State Champions, and anything less than a fourth straight title would be a disappointment. Coach Howe and Co. know what it takes to win, so they’ll approach this year the same as any other.
So, with the Tigers opening up the season this Friday at home at 5:30, make sure to be there and get rowdy!
Today was a big day for eight Tiger athletes, as they signed their Letters of Intent to enroll in their respective colleges and play at the next level. Congrats to the following athletes!
Austin Cook – Campbellsville: Cook has been a four year varsity team member and has contributed to the team every year. He currently wrestles in the 120 pound weight class.
Zac Collins – Purdue:Collins will be continuing the tradition of St.X punters going on to play with a D1 program. Following in the footsteps of his older brother Jake (WKU) and Mason King (Louisville), Zac was a very valuable member to the Tiger Football team this year. He earned numerous accolades including All-District and All-State Honors.
Desmond Ridder – Cincinatti: The Tiger Quarterback has been the offensive focal point for the team since he took over the reigns his junior year. Over his career, he has accounted for 3,142 total yards and 39 touchdowns.
Braidon Washburn – Lindsey Wilson: Washburn started at Outside Linebacker and was a centerpiece of the Tiger Defense this season. He led the team in forced fumbles and total tackles.
Dallas Miles – Mount Union: Dallas has been a member of the varsity wrestling team since his freshman year and has been a valuable member over the course of his career. He currently wrestles in the 152 pound weight class and is ranked #5 in Kentucky.
Sam McDonogh – Morehead State: Although McDonogh did not get to play his senior season due to injury, McDonogh will sign on to kick at Morehead State. As a junior, he was named to the All-District team and was one of the most consistent kickers in the Louisville Area.
Blake Roshkowski – Bellarmine: Blake has been a valuable member to the football and lacrosse teams since his sophomore year. Roshkowski committed to play D1 Lacrosse with his brother Will during his junior year. However, he wasn’t able to suit up his junior lacrosse season due to an ACL tear, and had the same injury during this past football season. However, in the time that Roshkowski has been able to play, he was one of, if not THE best midfielders in Kentucky. He was named to 1st Team All State as a sophomore.
Curry Stevens – Tiffin: Stevens has been a member of the Varsity Soccer team since his junior season. He primarily played outside back for the Tiger Soccer team.
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.
Saint Xavier Lacrosse finally had its first game of the season on Wednesday night. Well, that is, the first game they’ve been able to play. With the coming of an arctic blast of weather last week, the first two scheduled games were cancelled, and the team was left with yet again a long stream of practice cancellations. With the impact of the weather, it was interesting to see the team’s fluidity in their first game again Lexington Catholic, and the effects were definitely felt.
In the first half, the offense was a mix of good and bad plays along with multiple missed opportunities. It took two rising middies, junior Corbin Buchart and sophmore Blake Roshkowski, to boost the Tigers to a 6-1 lead after the first half of play.
“We definitely had a slow first half” said senior Attackman Collin Roppel, who scored all three of his goals in the second half. “But things definitely starting picking up in the second.”
The Tigers slowly took firm control of the game in the second half. Junior defenseman Caleb Grimes attributed the second half success to the efforts of the defensive unit, noting multiple big saves by senior goalie Max Cartor. The improvement from first half to second half was drastic, and the Tigers eventually finished the Knights 13-1.
The first game definitely was rough in some parts. Put well by Cartor: “This was the best worst game I’ve ever seen.” The game was not smooth, but the team as a whole showed their ability to come together in unison, and the projections looked outstanding. The weapons at every position are deeper than ever before, and morale is high for the team coming off of their first win of the season.”
It wasn’t easy at all, but Saint Xavier got it done once again. They haven’t always looked sharp; there have been many mistakes. But there have been very bright high points as well, and the Tigers keep finding a way to stay alive.
St. X defeated Manual for the second time this season, 12-7, in the second round of the 2014 Class 6A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl. This time, however, Tiger Football earned a victory with one of the oddest plays anyone will ever see.
With the Crimsons holding a 7-6 lead as the second half began, St. X signal caller Noah Houk threw his second interception of the game. It looked like Manual defensive back Antonio Hassell had some running room, but junior St. X receiver Colin O’Daniel was covering ground quickly.
“I just knew when he got the ball that the play wasn’t over,” O’Daniel explained. “I saw he wasn’t holding it right, and I went after it and ripped it.”
O’Daniel forced a fumble, and sophomore phenom Blake Roshkowski picked up the loose ball and scampered 50 yards for a touchdown that completely changed the complexion of the game.
Houk couldn’t get a two-point conversion, but the Tiger defense didn’t need it.
The game started perfectly for St. X, who started the game on defense. On the first play from scrimmage, senior Tiger defensive end Will Edwards forced a fumble and recovered it.
St. X started its first offensive possession in the redzone, but could muster only a 29-yard field goal from Michael “Big Foot” Bennett. Bennett would hit another field goal before halftime to make the score 7-6 in favor of the Crimsons.
“[Manual] isn’t scoring in the second half,” sophomore St. X manager Patrick Wantland said at halftime.
He knows his guys well.
Saint Xavier’s defense flexed its muscles when it mattered most, as they have many times before. The Tigers snared three interceptions in the second half, and they were all at the most opportune times.
Jackie Arnold got his sixth pick of the year, Tyler Boarman stopped a redzone drive by Manual with a leaping grab, and Logan Butler sealed the game with an interception with just over a minute to go in the game.
“We just started reading their quarterback more,” Butler explained. “We knew if we just came off a few times, he would make mistakes.”
Houk repeatedly gashed the Crimsons with his legs, rushing for 96 yards on just nine carries. His effort was especially important because St. X was without two of its top running backs. John Martinez missed the game with a finger injury, and TaiJon Smith injured his quadriceps on his second carry of the game and did not return.
Now, St. X is faced with a second meeting with archrival Trinity. Game time is set for 7:30 PM next Friday at Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium.
We will have much more coverage this coming week, so stay logged on, Tiger Nation.
Go Tigers! We Are!