“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.