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One Last Ride for Tiger Lacrosse

For one last time, Tommy Kushner (left)and Davis Kannapell will do their thing. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

For one last time, Tommy Kushner (left) and Davis Kannapell will do their thing. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Wednesday night the Tiger Lacrosse Team took on rival Trinity in the State Semifinals in the hopes of continuing its successful season. The Tigers showed pure dominance on the field and ultimately ousted the Rocks by a final score of 10-2.  St. X now heads on to the State Championship, a place the Tigers are very fond of and accustomed to. The opponent will be the Bearcats of Kentucky Country Day, a team the Tigers haven’t faced in years. Here’s what we learned from the semifinal game and what we should expect to see in the title game tonight.

Goals will come in heavy spurts. The Tiger offense has really been clicking the past few games, though it’s not the constant onslaught of goals one would expect. The offense likes to go on runs, catching the opponent while they aren’t paying attention. As seen in the semifinal matchup, the Tigers only led Trinity by three (4-1) at half, and soon the lead was diminished to two goals in the third quarter. The St. X offense responded with a 6-0 run to give themselves a commanding lead. This spurt of goals came just in time and ultimately led them to victory.

The Tigers’ injuries have been covered up perfectly. During the season, St. X has experienced multiple injuries, ranging from senior attackman Jack Muldoon’s torn ACL in the first game of the season to senior defenseman Owen Peters’ hurt foot. Fortunately, the team hasn’t missed a beat. In Wednesday night’s game against Trinity, we saw the exiting emergence of sophomore defender Paul Porter, who has been filling in for Peters since his injury. Not only did Porter do his job, he excelled beyond expectations. In my opinion, Porter put up the strongest defensive performance of the night, which is a tough task being paired with multi-year starter Caleb Grimes and senior Davis Kannapell. On the midfielder end, we’ve seen figures such as seniors Tanner Black and Jack Werner emerge to run the ball up and down the field. These two have played outstanding lacrosse recently and will be huge in the championship.

Scott Howe has done it again. Every year the lacrosse team is new at the beginning, yet Coach Howe always manages to bring it together as a unit by the end. The team we saw Wednesday night was of the highest caliber, and the style was classic Coach Howe. There was not a single St. X player that dominated the Trinity game. Scoring came from a myriad of players, from the attack to the first two lines of midfielders. Everyone was getting touches, making it impossible for the opponent defense to shut down one specific player. This quality is the reason why everyone dreads playing St. X. It would not surprise me if upwards of 6 different players scored in the championship game. That’s just how versatile this team is.

The Tigers take on KCD at Br. Thomas More Page Stadium at 7:00 tonight. After tossing out a solid prediction for the last game, I couldn’t resist making another for the championship. My prediction is Tigers win 14-2. Again, Tiger Nation, it’s your turn. You did an outstanding job Wednesday night. Follow it up, and we will undoubtedly hear screams, shouts and cheers of “BACK TO BACK.”

Go Tigers! We Are!

Preview: St. X vs. Trinity

St. X Head Coach Scott Howe knows a thing or two about beating Trinity. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

St. X Head Coach Scott Howe knows a thing or two about beating Trinity. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Tonight, the Tiger lacrosse team will take on archrival Trinity High School in a highly-touted match up between two of the best teams in the state. Trinity will enter the game 5-3, with their losses coming from three tough out-of-state opponents. The Shamrocks have performed far beyond preseason expectations, and looks to be a great matchup against our own Tigers.

“They are really strong in every area, and their improvement through the year has really shown,” remarked senior St. X goalie Max Cartor. “But we feel confident playing at this field and will be ready to rock and roll come game time.”

To this point in the season, the Tigers and Rocks have played two of the same teams. Both took on Lexington Catholic, where Trinity defeated them 13-3 and St. X won 13-1. Also, both teams hosted Libertyville High School from Illinois. The Rocks narrowly defeated them 11-7, while St. X handled them easily with the final score of 14-7.

The two similar matchups don’t really tell us much about what we could expect Wednesday night, though. All we know is that it will be a good matchup in all areas of the field.

Who should we look out for? Well, senior LSM Jeremiah Hemme has been a strong force on the defensive side of the field, also extending his game to the offense on fast breaks and transitions. Senior Max Stratton has put up buckets of goals as a midfielder for the Rocks. The two pose a threat to our Tigers, but shouldn’t be anything they can’t handle. St. X will also be content to face Trinity without Jackson Lienhart, a senior attackman signed with Bellarmine University who wreaked havoc on St. X as a junior last season. He has since transferred to Torrey Pines High School in San Diego, and therefore will be far away from Marshall Stadium tonight.

Of course for the Tigers, Cartor, attackman Collin Roppel, and junior defenseman Caleb Grimes have been studs on the field this year. Roppel’s offensive command has led the Tigers through multiple big games, while Grimes and Cartor have left offenses frustrated with their lockdown defense.

In the past three years, the Tigers have led the head-to-head matchup, claiming 4 of the 6 meetings between the rivaling teams, with two of the wins coming from State Championship games.

The game is Wednesday night at 7:00 hosted by Trinity. It’s a black out, so let’s get out there, get rowdy, and beat the Weeds!

Tiger Lacrosse Rolls Over Manual

Caleb Grimes helped St. X allow only a single goal on defense. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Caleb Grimes helped St. X allow only a single goal on defense. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

The Tiger Lacrosse team defeated Manual 24-1 Wednesday night. And no, that’s not a misprint. In fact, it’s almost what we expected after last year’s national record-setting 33-2 victory over the Crimsons. The Tigers came, they conquered, and took care of business on their way to another win, making them 2-0 on the season.

After the first game, it was obvious the St. X team had a surplus of talent, and in their scrimmage against Upper Arlington last weekend, huge progress was shown. The Tigers dominated Manual, allowing the ball to get on their defensive end of the field only two times in the entire first half. Attackman Collin Roppel continued his magic around the net, getting a hat trick less than five minutes into the game, and the goals kept coming. Leland Gray added 3 more and the middies relentlessly shot on the Manual goalie. The offense flowed fruitfully in the first half stemming from dominant wins at the face off circle. By the time the first half came to a close, St. X led 18-0 over the Rams.

“The first half of play had some of the best ball movement I’ve seen in a while,” remarked senior attackman Will Edwards, who scored 2 goals of his own as well as dishing out 4 assists.

The defense didn’t get many touches in this game, yet they were ready whenever they were needed. Once again the powerful forces of Davis Kannapell, Owen Peters, Caleb Grimes, and Max Cartor held down the fort, squandering any glimpses of a Crimson offensive opportunity.

“The game was definitely a little slow on our defensive end,” Cartor explained. “But it was still fun, and we responded when we needed to.”

St. X eventually allowed a goal late in the third quarter to the Rams, but they responded with more goals. Sophomore Joey Mackin made great use of his playing time, netting a couple goals and junior J.C. Storner racked up two assists in the late moments of the game.

The final score was 24-1, with St. X winning their second regular season game.

Next up for the Tigers is another road trip this weekend, where they face Zionsville in Indiana. Gametime is set for 2 p.m. on Saturday.

Tiger Lax has a strong showing against Nationally Ranked Opponent

Max Cartor showed why he is the linchpin  of the St. X defense on Saturday. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Max Cartor showed why he is the linchpin of the St. X defense on Saturday. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

After its last game against Lexington Catholic, it was obvious the Tiger Lacrosse team had serious potential for their upcoming season. Saturday the team traveled four hours north to face Upper Arlington High School, the #2 ranked team in the Midwest and last years Ohio State champions. For the few fans who made the trip, St. X put on a memorable show.

Defense, defense, and more defense. That alone could sufficiently describe the Tiger’s outing Saturday morning. Nothing passed through St. X’s zone easily for Upper Arlington, a team that is used to putting up big scores. The duo of Max Cartor and Caleb Grimes, who have been starting together for three years now, showed its competence when faced with huge opponents. The squad had one of its best defensive efforts they could remember, holding Arlington to just five goals.

You can’t win a game without goals, though, and the offense picked up right where the defense left off. Leland Gray finished one goal and Collin Roppel continued his great start to the season posting his second consecutive hat trick. The midfield showed their ability to run on both ends of the field, and the Tigers put up a solid offensive showing overall. Their performance set in stone that they can play with any team in the nation.

Next up for St. X is an away game at Manual on Wednesday, March 18th starting at 7:00.

Tiger Lacrosse Starts Season with a W

 

Collin Roppel had a nice second half performance Wednesday night against Lexington Catholic. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

Collin Roppel had a nice second half performance Wednesday night against Lexington Catholic. | Photo by Jacob Hayslip

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.”