Sat 02/11 UC San Diego Tritons vs. Cal State Channel Islands Dolphins Non-Conference
Sun 02/12 UC San Diego Tritons vs. Marymount California University Mariners Non-Conference
Good teams prepare within the pre-season; great teams build within the pre-season. The UC San Diego Tritons is a great team. The pre-season lasting five weeks, has proven to be the most grueling part of the year thus far. All of our efforts were put to the test in a double header season opener against the Dolphins of CSU Channel Islands (CSUCI) and the Mariners at Marymount California University. These games not only tested our practice and conditioning, but also the team’s ability to dictate the tempo of the game through an adept execution of triton lacrosse. The offense we had built throughout the fall and winter, the defensive package developed over the pre-season, and lastly the transition game we had honed over the last few weeks of January is the epitome of Triton lacrosse. We were not only playing our opponents but also ourselves.
The weekend began early on Saturday the 11th with a bus ride at 8:30 am from the UC San Diego Baseball Parking Lots and headed up to CSUCI in Camarillo for our game at 2 pm. Our Coach strategically planned this trip with enough time for us to shake off our “bus legs”, get focused, and hold a long warm-up before the game. By game time the team was set in a razor-focus, ready and willing to dominate our opponent. We did just that, with a decisive victory over the Dolphins 17-2, the game was not so easily won.
Throughout the first half, which ended 8-2, the team was plagued by first game jitters and indecisiveness throughout all positions on the field. We wasted shots, had a handful of unforced errors, and our transition game (defensively and offensively) was poorly executed. At halftime our Head Coach (Albert “the man” Man) brought us to the corner to tell us that our trajectory for this incumbent season was dependent upon our resolve and ability to play our game to our level (not to the level of our opponents). This statement rode deep within our team and sparked a flame within. The second half of that game was not only a blow out of 9-0, but also a calm and collected. No matter where the ball was our team played smarter, harder, and with better execution than our opponents.
The game ended with three hat-tricks by midfielders Anthony Vito Digiorgio (4 goals, 3 assists) and Jacob “Gramps” Cuffe (3 goals), in addition to attackman Joseph “praise be to joe” Sawires (5 goals, 2 assists). Additional goals scorers include Evan “Coachiepoo” Eichenberg (2 goals), Aditya “D2” Nag (1 goal), Aidin “The Malay Hurricane” Massoumi (2 goals).
Do not let the goals scored affect your view of the dynamic within our team, for this game was won on the backs of our studded defense and face-off specialist Taylor “the surgeon” Gulrajani.
We ate, we studied, we slept, and prepared for the most important game of the year; the next one.
The team was packed and ready to ride out to San Pedro Olguin High school in Los Angeles to play a very peculiar opponent, Marymount California University. This game and opponent would be nothing like the Dolphins of CSUCI, they were a new team with a different dynamic. Our Captain Jacob “Gramps” Cuffe conveyed this to the team before the game commenced, “for all we know this is an all-star team and we will play them as such, no half-speed, focus and execute our brand of lacrosse.”
This statement became a staple of the team from the opening whistle and held throughout the game. Lest than 30 seconds into the game we had our first goal by midfielder Aditya “D2” Nag, who drove the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal off of a well-timed cut (assisted by attackman Evan “Mr. Avocados” Jenkin). This first goal led the Triton’s offensive dominance over the next four quarters like domino effect, the Tritons were on a war path to victory. After the final whistle the score read Tritons 16 – Mariners 0, bringing the Tritons their second win and first shutout win of the season.
The tritons proved that our offense could dictate the tempo of any game from the first whistle, our defense could stay strong and communicate to overcome any opposition, and that our team as a whole could stay true to our brand of lacrosse. The most notable victories on the field over this trying weekend came from both sides of play; offensively, Anthony Vito Digiorgio led the team with 14 points (9 goals, and 5 assists). While defensively our goalies Tyler “Mr. Clutch” Lestak and Cam “The Wall” Bowlby let in 2 goals over two games with help from a studded defensive unit. However, the greatest victory goes to our all-star face-off specialist Taylor “the surgeon” Gulrajani. “The Surgeon” won all but one of his draws at the face-off X (winning 29-1) and earned the accolade of “Underarmour Commanding Performance” from our league the Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association.
Although personal accolades are nice, they give no value to the players. The only thing we as a team strive to achieve is victory through our brand of lacrosse, Triton Lacrosse.