As the final seconds ticked away on the first loss of the season for the Jordan boys lacrosse team and coach Michael Ricucci, he and his players felt they dropped a winnable game.
Perhaps that shows how much the expectations have changed at Jordan.
Just one year ago the Falcons went 5-14 and didn’t reach the three-win mark until April 18 as they faced a tough schedule with a youthful roster.
This year’s team is 7-1 through eight games, including one over Carrboro, which appeared in last year’s N.C. High School Athletic Association 1A/2A/3A championship game.
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“They’re a little more mature this year,” Ricucci said. “They handle the ball better and they understand game scenario a little bit better. We’re giving ourselves chances to win.”
In the Falcons’ only loss, an 8-7 defeat to Chapel Hill on March 7, Jordan at times against the Tigers looked like a squad with the right ingredients for a successful season.
With just over nine minutes remaining in the fourth quarter, Jordan held a two-goal advantage.
“I think we played a little young tonight and didn’t execute when we needed to,” Ricucci said.
Thanks to the stellar performance of senior midfielder Tyler Thompson, the Falcons won the faceoff battle 14-5, a hallmark of any good lacrosse team. Thompson was one of last year’s state leaders in groundballs.
Meanwhile, Jordan is balanced and patient on offense, with sophomore attacker Yasir Stroud pairing with juniors Joe McDonald and Jared Halverson. Halverson scored 40 times last season and has 33 goals already this year.