FORT LAX WINS ONE AND LOSES 3 IN SOCAL – SHOWS IMPROVEMENT

HI Players, Parents, and Friend of FLC Lacrosse

This past week, we’ve had sunny and unusually warm weather in Durango – with highs in the 60’s. The fields are dry, in good condition, and it’s great to be able to practice outside.

We had a fine 9 day trip to Southern California during the first week of March, although I would have liked to win more than we did – so here’s a recap.

We left FLC on Friday, March 4 in chilly weather with a few snow squalls coming through. The players were excited to be finished with their mid-term papers and test and get on to CA. As a weather front was moving through, the wind was crazy strong driving through Cortez to Kayenta in AZ. Just south of Cortez, the wind was blowing thousands of tumbleweeds across the highway. The fields looked like they were actually alive as the whole surface was comprised of undulating orbs. Since these are fragile, we didn’t try to dodge them on the highway, and just plowed them over. Once we entered into the true AZ desert, at times the sand was just flowing over the road. After we passed Kayenta, the winds diminished, and the weather cleared. We spent Friday night in beautiful Kingman. The team was eager to get on to CA so we left Kingman early on Saturday for the 6 hour drive to San Clemente arriving to sunny weather in the early afternoon. After checking in, the whole team hit the beach for some lacrosse tossing and surfing.

Sunday dawned a bit overcast with some drizzle, which cleared for our first game against Biola. This is a private university, similar in size to FLC and a good matchup. Both teams had a good defense, and both teams could not generate consistent offense. FLC came away the victor with a 5-4 win. Goalie Sean Claussen was awarded the game ball for his outstanding saves.

Monday was a free day, so the players enjoyed the beach, some surfing, checking out the shops and restaurants in San Clemente, etc.

Tuesday saw FLC matched up against powerhouse Cal State Fullerton. FLC had very little offensive possessions as Fullerton was able to control the clears and faceoffs. Defenseman John Pekarske had FLC’s play of the game as he scooped a ground ball, ran the length of the field, and scored. Kevin Harkey had 2 goals, Middie Cullen Bilgrav had the other for a final score of Fullerton 15 to FLC’s 4.

On Wednesday, FLC travelled to Cal State Long Beach. Long Beach is always a scrappy team, and was anxious to revenge last year’s lost to the Hawks. FLC put together a solid first half as the offense played smarter ball and the midfield and defense were much better on ground balls and clears. After being up by one at the end of the first half, the 15 FLC lax players just ran out of gas during the second half. Kevin Harkey was awarded the game ball, and had an outstanding game at attack scoring 5 goals and having 1 assist. The final score was Long Beach 12 and FLC 9.

After 2 games in 2 days, the Hawks travelled to UC San Diego to take on the Tritons. FLC was showing strong improvement each game and put together their best first half playing solid midfield, and strong defense. With a 1 goal lead at half, and the fog swirling in, the tritons stunned the Hawks with 3 quick goals in the first quarter. The Hawks put up a valiant second half effort, but was unable to regain the lead and lost 8-5. Aaron Blue had a breakout game tallying 2 goals, and Harkey continued to drive the offense with 3 goals. Long Stick Middie, Drew Larson was awarded the game ball for a tremendous defensive effort.

Friday was a much enjoyed free day as the players rested after 4 games in 3 days. With perfect SoCal weather, the beaches were closed due to the Japanese Tsunami, so the team’s focused switched from beach activities to other pursuits.

The FLC team is scrappy and played with great heart. These 4 games enabled the team to greatly improve some weak areas, and are a good foundation for the conference games in Colorado and Utah. Some of the FLC players were unable to make this trip, so I anticipate greater success with a larger roster.

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