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