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.
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.
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.