The Cary Academy boys’ lacrosse team handily defeated visiting St. David’s, 17-3, in a lopsided affair on Thursday night.
St. David’s (1-3) has had its share of struggles this season, which is to be expected considering it is the school’s first year with a varsity lacrosse program. The Warriors were outshot 42-8 and were only able to win two of the nineteen face-offs, which led to Cary Academy (2-0) controlling the ball for the vast majority of the contest.
“It is a very tough game to play, but the guys have really been picking it up well,” St. David’s coach Duke Whelan said.
Whelan, who has coached lacrosse at numerous local high schools for the past 37 years, knew he had his work cut out for him when he accepted the position. Many of his players had never picked up a lacrosse stick heading into the season and very few had actual game experience.
“Obviously you have to get the basics down like passing, catching, and shooting. But the most important thing is to gain experience in game situations, which you cannot do in practice,” Whelan said. “We have some really good athletes and they just have to keep gaining experience and learning the game.”
In order to have enough players to field a team, St. David’s students, including junior midfielder Braxton Montague (two goals), recruited fellow athletes and friends who had an interest in playing.
“Very few of our guys had any experience coming into the year, but they picked up a stick, got onto the field, and realized how fun and exciting the game can be,” Whelan said. “The first year will definitely be the toughest as we try and build the program. It will take some time, but we will get there.”
The game was fairly tight heading into halftime, with Cary Academy taking a 6-2 lead into the break.
However, Chargers midfielder Cole Spector (three goals) fired a shot past St. David’s sophomore goaltender Parker York just nine seconds into the second half. The Chargers went on to score eight straight goals to claim a dominant twelve-goal advantage.
The Warriors, who only have six players available on the bench for substitutions, appeared to just run out of steam as the game wore on. Whelan’s squad desperately needs some more reinforcements if they hope to compete for a full 48 minutes.
“If you don’t control the ball any team will get gassed,” Whelan said. “We just have to learn how to play as a team offensively and defensively. This will allow us to control the ball more often and not be constantly running up and down the field, which will tire anybody out.”
Cary Academy coach, Michael deLaurentis, was extremely pleased with the way his team performed.
“In the third quarter I don’t think they had the ball in their offensive zone once,” deLaurentis said. “The offense did a terrific job moving the ball around and keeping control. We did some really good things today, but there is always room for improvement. We have some tough opponents coming up and are always looking to get better.”
After taking a week off for spring break, Cary Academy will travel to Durham Academy on April 7 for a crucial conference matchup.