“The only history worth a damn is the history we make today”
The day was Sunday, November 13th, and like any other it was a day of rebirth. Over the last school year UC San Diego Lacrosse has been hit with many setbacks. The program needed a change, needed to rebuild. Our late captain (Patrick “The Dragon Rick” Zhang) spearheaded an overhaul of the program’s culture, which lead the team down an unbelievably tough road. We, the UC San Diego Lacrosse team, sacrificed a winning season for a stronger program. Now at the end of Fall ball 2016 the fruits of our labor would be tested.
We had recruited. We had instilled discipline. We had put in the work. We were ready to play.
The day was Sunday, game day. UC San Diego was invited to a small tournament at San Diego State University; other attendees included Men’s Collegiate Lacrosse Association (MCLA) members like the University of San Diego and non-league members like Grossmont Community College. By time the team arrived the games were already underway. We would soon play a tenacious Grossmont squad and then SDSU at sunset.
Grossmont was invited to this tournament (note they are not in the MCLA) due to their natural talent and ability to play the game with no strings attached. After beating University of San Diego, a team that went to last year’s conference semifinals, Grossmont was primed for our rematch. It should be noted that at this time last year UC San Diego was given a devastating lost to Grossmont, closing out a quite disappointing fall ball season.
Suited up and ready to go, the Tritons hit the field. The ball was set and Evan “Coachiepoo” Eichenberg was in hyper focus at the faceoff X. The whistle blew and we were off. Coachiepoo was the spark that lead the team forward, winning over 80 percent of his draws. With the ball in hand our new offense, led by captains David “Young Pup” Mastro and Jacob “Gramps” Cuffe, would flow to the tune of a classical orchestra. The beauty of a constantly flowing offense is that your opponent will never know where the shot will come from. It cripples the mind while increasing fatigue. For almost 40 minutes the back of the net danced with assisted goals from Young Pup, Gramps, Coachiepoo, Aditia “D2” Nag, Aidin “The Malay Hurricane” Massoumi, and Michael “The Bowling Ball” Paxton.
Although we played well our offense was not perfect. Thankfully our young and aggressive defense was there to back us up, spearheaded by the only defensive returner Matthew “Long Matt the Elder One” Robinson. Yet when all else failed we have a brick wall in the net (Cameron “Cam” Bowlby), who’s save percentage was well over 70 percent.
We won 8-4. We proved to our conference (Southern Lacrosse Conference) that UC San Diego is a contender. With one team down we looked onward to a formidable foe. The MCLA division 2 Tritons vs the division 1 Aztecs (i.e. David v. Goliath). Any average scout would tell you that this game would be a landslide, with the Aztecs obliterating UC San Diego by at least ten goals or more. We knew this, but it did not deter us. We came here, to this tournament, to win. We came here to prove that we are not only contenders, but also threats to any team out there.
We were not supposed to win any of the face offs. (won 1/3)
We were not supposed to clear the ball from defense to offense. (70% clear rate)
We were not supposed to score more than 3 goals. (5, 3 assisted)
But we did, and we did so as a team.
Sunday ended with two wins for UC San Diego. The first was redemption, through our win over our non-league rivals the Grossmont College Griffins. The second was respect, through a 9-5 loss to a D1 program consistently seeded in the top 25 nationwide.
Come spring the scouting reports will be lit up with our players. Come spring the Tritons will be a threat to any given program’s success. So come on spring, UC San Diego Lacrosse is ready.
LAX Until the Cows Come Home
The UC San Diego Tritons journeyed to a faraway land, filled with a mysterious substance that fell from the sky on March 5th. The natives in this place called “NorCal” called it “Rain”, a rumored essence that many wish would be blessed upon the Golden State. It seems the many prayers and dances had been answered as the Tritons faced the UCD Aggies. It was beneath the UC Davis water tower and the torrent that the Tritons took their stand. As a former D1 team the previous year, the Aggies were a strong team on their home field. With David “Puppy Style” Mastro scoring the only goal for the Tritons, the Tritons lost one to eight. The Tritons left Davis, as even the clouds seemed to weep harder in farewell.
Lacrosse: Light of my Life, Fire of my Loins
The UC San Diego Tritons faced the CSU Long Beach 49’s in a neck to neck game on February 27th. In this low scoring game, it was a battle of the defenses. The score was five to four at the end of the half in favor of the Tritons. Long Beach came back strong at the end of the half scoring three unanswered goals. The Tritons pushed on scoring two more goals in the end against Long Beach’s one. The game ended with Tritons 6, Long Beach 8. Senior Captain Ryan de Leon led the Tritons on both the faceoff and our defensive field. Anthony ‘Goodfella’ Digiorgio played a great game scoring two goals for the Tritons. Using this is loss as fuel, the Tritons prepare for their next game against the number one team in the country, Concordia.
‘Tis Better to Have Laxed and Lost, Than Never to Have Laxed at All
It was beautiful day in Fullerton, known for their plentiful groves of Valencia oranges and industrious petroleum extraction. Despite being in such a fruitful environment, the normally resilient Tritons failed to thrive as the Valencia oranges do. The Fullerton Titans salted the earth from which the Tritons attempted plant the seeds of victory. With a loss of 3-13, the Tritons fought bravely against the number 12th team in the nation as their first opponent. Our stunning and brave defense held off the Titans under the leadership of goalie Tyler “Stonewall” Lestak. Midfielders David “Miracle on Grass” Mastro and Jack Carpenter from parts unknown finished strong for the Tritons by putting in the three goals. Tritons learned their lessons and prepare to face CSU Long Beach Saturday, February 27th at 2:00 in their first home game.
The Journey of a Thousand Goals Begins with a Single Pass
As day broke and the skies cleared above San Francisco on March 6th, the Tritons invoked the full power of their namesake, and brought the might of the ocean crashing down upon the unsuspecting Dons of USF. The Dons quaked with fear as Ryan DeLeon continued to beat their face-off man for sixty minutes. The Triton offense was relentless, unrepentant as it placed shot after shot past the Don goalkeeper, like waves crashing ceaselessly against a battered shipwreck. Hat tricks were scored by Peter Bennington, David Mastro, and Rick ‘My Names not Rick’ Zhang. Scoring their first collegiate lacrosse goals were Jake ’Swiggity Swooty’ Cuffe and Alasdair ‘The Shepherd’ Morton. Not to be outdone, the Triton defensive squad played a tremendous game. Buttressed on all sides by long and short stick defenders alike, the defensive citadel proved impenetrable to the Don offense. And Tyler Lestak was an unbreakable wall in goal, with his ball stopping ability being surpassed only by his raw animal magnetism. As the Tritons return to San Diego as conquering heroes, the will seek to carry this momentum forward and get their season back on track.
Flow is to be Lived, Not Controlled; and Lacrosse Won by Continuing to Play in Face of Certain Defeat
As the Concordia Eagles soared down the illustrious I-5 freeway, the Tritons fearlessly prepared to do battle with proverbial goliaths of the Division II MCLA lacrosse world, on March 2nd. The Tritons fought valiantly, but their slingshots were no match for the onslaught of the shots that were taken. The Eagles came out fast, winning face-offs early and scoring on quick transition plays. Sophomore goalie sensation Tyler Lestak played well, but the sheer quantity of shots by Concordia proved too much to handle. The Triton offense struggled to gather momentum, but did show brief glimmers of potency. Attackmen David Mastro and Evan Jenkin had two goals and an assist apiece. The remaining goals were scored by midfielders Anthony DiGiorgio Spimoni ‘Mama Mia’ Vito and Jack Carpenter. Although UC San Diego would like to have won this important divisional matchup, they eagerly await the prospect of facing the Eagles once more in the playoffs.
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