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Redbirds vs. Lions a solidified program against a typical college club program, Missouri vs. Illinois and the Redbirds first conference game. We met Lindenwood at O’Fallon Township High School in O’Fallon, IL to have a showcase game of two completely different GRLC school. O’Fallon Township High School hosted us to also boost the awareness of lacrosse in this area. It was a very slow game to start with as the wind and rain kept coming down. Lindenwood pulled away in the end beating us 13-4. One day of rest came for ISU on Friday and then it was back to the open road to take on Purdue on March 27th.

The weather decided to corporate for the game against Purdue and Illinois State came out with something to prove after losing in overtime to the Boilermakers last year. We came out with a firing and got up 8-1 at halftime. That would be enough to put away the Boilermakers and the Redbirds eventually put in 6 more goals before the game ended. Purdue’s close defense had more points than their whole offense combined, proving that our defensive unit had a solid day. ISU had 8 different scorers on the day with a many freshman players notching their first college lacrosse points. It was an all-around great performance by the Redbirds and really showed that we are going to be tough competitors in this conference and are not going to go away lightly.

On to the open road again as we traveled from West Lafayette, Indiana to Bloomington, Indiana a 2 hour trip. We were scheduled to take on the Indiana Hoosiers the following day if the weather was going to hold out for us. Another conference game that would give a good picture for playoffs and a must need win for the Redbirds. Sunday morning came and it was rainy and cold. Indiana plays on a recreation field and from what information we were told any rain that field gets, all scheduled play on the field is cancelled. The referee crew that was from the game on the previous day, Missouri played Indiana at this field, was called off. A separate officiating crew was not contacted until 10:00 AM the day of the game. Leaving the referees to arrive at 1:30 PM when the game was scheduled for 1:00. A penalty plagued first half lead to Indiana taking the lead 8-4. The game was postponed at half-time due to field conditions. This game will be re-scheduled for the weekend of April 17th. It would have been appreciated to be informed of what was really going on as both teams stood in the rain for more than an hour to have the game stopped at half-time and the whole situation was handle very unprofessionally. It was a long weekend to say the least for the Redbirds. We have taken this week to recover and prepare for our next game.

Illinois State will take on long standing rival University of Illinois Wednesday April 7th at Hancock Stadium in Normal, IL. The game is scheduled for 7:00 PM and will prove to be a hard fought battle. Illinois has beaten some very talented teams this spring so this game will be a test of two very talented clubs. Conference play is going to mount in the next couple of weeks so make sure to check back for updates.


One Love…

        Winning two games is always a great feeling but winning two games in a little more than 24 hours apart is even a more rewarding feeling. Illinois State lacrosse traveled to Kalamazoo, Michigan to take on Western Michigan Broncos. A four and a half hour drive up to Kalamazoo from Bloomington-Normal seems like nothing compared to our road trip to Memphis. We took on the Broncos on a chilly Saturday morning at a great venue in Vicksburg High School. Each team came out slow with the score being notched at 1-1 at halftime, something that rarely happens in lacrosse.

                We came out hot after halftime putting in 3 goals against a very talented and physical Bronco defense. The Broncos answered right back with 2 goals leaving the score 4-3 in favor of the Redbirds at the end of the 3rd quarter. The 4th quarter was all us sealing the victory with 3 more goals. Hats off to our defensive unit who played out of their minds, our starting close defenders can shut down any attack unit out there.


Illionois State

                It was back on the road to Illinois State following the victory against Western Michigan to rest up and get ready for St. Louis University the following day. We came out underestimating a talented Bilikin squad. The score was all tied up at 5’s when halftime hit. St. Louis took an 8-6 lead at the end of the 3rd quarter. We finally were able to catch our second wind and were able to put 6 in the back of the net to end the game 12-10. St. Louis is going to be a force to be reckoned with in the Northeast GRLC conference and do not count them out. They have a solid goalie and some shifty offensive players. Our defense did not play very well this game nor did our offense. You could tell that the game the day before was catching up to us in the end. There is also just something about our recreation fields that make us not play very well.

                The Redbirds have a very tough weekend coming up. We travel to O’Fallon, Illinois to take on ranked Lindenwood tomorrow. Friday is our only day off and then we take to the road again to play Indiana and Purdue this coming weekend. It will be interesting to see if our legs will be able to keep up with us. Right now we have a couple of injuries that are hurting are already lacking depth chart. If we play like we did against Western Michigan we are going to be very successful this weekend. These games will also paint a decent picture for the upcoming GRLC playoffs.

 Gotta love MCLA lacrosse, this is around the time that it starts to get interesting and where the forums blow up with the who’s in/who’s out. And will someone finally take down Michigan? I am getting pretty irritated with that team and do not see why they do not just make the push to D1. They are building a lacrosse only building, I mean really? Is it just that fun for you to walk all over these MCLA teams that have twice as less of a coaching staff as well as roster size? Sometimes that’s what it takes to solidify egos for some people; I guess there lacrosse team has to pick up on the slack from their crumbling football team. Whatever it may be their winning streak will come to an end and I believe they will not walk through Denver as easily this year.

Until next time, later lax world

                One love…

The first two games have now been completed for the Illinois State lacrosse club. Traveling to Memphis, Tennessee to take on two highly talented competitors in the likes of Texas A&M and University of Tennessee. These two games proved to be tough contests for the Birds as these were our first two real games on a full size field and also against two out of conference teams who had already had 6-7 games under their belts.

This was also our spring break trip as we began our week long school hiatus on Friday. These are the type of trips that club lacrosse players live and die for. Hoping into 12 passenger vans, we hit the open road for a 7 and a half hour drive. Arriving in Memphis at around 5 PM we had time to kill before our 8:00 pm game time against Texas A&M. Beautiful weather awaited us when we arrived in Memphis. We came out slow against A&M and their attack picked apart our defense. Set back 7-2 at half time we once again dug ourselves a hole seems to be a reoccurring theme. The Redbirds were able to mount a slight comeback, winning the second half 6 to 5 but falling short in the end 12-8. A&M was able to capitalize on a penalty plagued Illinois State defense. It is hard to win games when you are playing man-down for half the game.

Our second game was not until 1:00 PM the next day but everyone was conked from the car ride and playing a game that it was an early night for the team. We woke up to 60 degree weather which is paradise coming from central Illinois. We got up big against Tennessee after the first half 6-2, but apparently Tennessee was not playing their starters in the first half? That made absolutely no sense but whatever floats their boat. They mounted a comeback when they inserted their starters into the game. It was also a test of a 45 man roster against our meager 28 man roster. They out ran us in the end. I am still very confused as to why a nationally noticed team does not start their starters, from what we were told their starters never start, so doesn’t that mean those players are not real starters? I guess they do it different in Tennessee. But if they continue that game plan they will get smoked at nationals. Thank you to Tennessee and Memphis University High school for hosting these games. It was a great experience and great exposure to go out and play these two teams.

If anyone ever gets a chance to travel to Memphis I would highly recommend eating at Central Barbeque right off the Memphis University campus. Too die for pulled pork sandwiches and primo ribs.

Time to relax for spring break and begin to prepare for our next tough opponent in Western Michigan on March 20th. Last year proved to be a very good game with Western Michigan winning by one goal in the final seconds of the game.

If anyone caught the UNC Duke lacrosse game yesterday (March 10th) Billy Bitter is one step below God, that kid is unreal… Go Tar Heels

Until next time, later lax world

One love…

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