Concordia University, in beautiful Irvine, CA, was an outstanding host, but they were well prepared to deal with the Fort Lewis Skyhawks Lacrosse team on Saturday afternoon. After a 17-1 first half, highlighted by spectacular ball control and fluid offense by the Eagles of Concordia, the Skyhawks could manage only one more goal in a 23-2 defeat. Concordia looked every bit to be one of the top 10 teams in Division 2, and there varsity level preparation (Concordia is an NAIA school) was evident in all facets of the game. Playing with 15 players for the second time in 3 days, the Skyhawks were out of gas just a few shifts into the match. In typical Fort fashion, the Skyhawk men never backed down, playing hard and limiting chances for the Eagles, while pressing hard on offense, which likely resulted in too many turnovers. This game is a shadow of what should have been, as the Skyhawks lost more than 10 expected returners since last season for a variety of reasons. Spirits are still up, however, as the RMLC conference schedule begins with Westminster in two short weeks, and the first home contests the weekend of March 30-31st. Thanks to Concordia and their great fans, and classy coach Will McMinn for giving us a lesson in high quality lacrosse, good luck this season!
What can be said about an 0-6 start without making excuses? Can a team learn all of the lessons in time to make changes before it is too late? How does a coach remember that lacrosse is supposed to be fun regardless of the score? It is all too easy to find reasons for the rough start for this year’s team, the loss of players, limited training time and space, and an ambitious schedule all immediately come to mind. The truth is in the details, and we were simply unprepared for the adversity so far. The lessons are many, and the dedication of this young Skyhawk team will be tested time and again in the coming weeks. The notion that it is not practice makes perfect, but rather it is PERFECT practice that makes perfect is more true now than ever. The fun will come as the team grows together, perhaps the silver lining of a tough road trip. This is a great group of guys, with good heads on their shoulders, a group of guys that plays hard for each other, and honors the game with their spirit. In the end, it is fun to think about how far we are from the ceiling, how high we can fly once our wings spread, and how amazing it will all seem when we are looking down from on high, at how far we have come together. The sky is not the limit, it is only the beginning.