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Eric Martin - The Beatdown in (near) Banff

by Eric Martin

Photo from www.sjstealth.com

Photo from www.sjstealth.com

What’s up Stealth Nation…what happened this past weekend in Calgary you ask?
Answer: We were stomped by the Roughnecks!

As you all know by now we were humiliated in the Western Finals by the always tough Calgary Roughnecks. The game at times didn’t even seem real. The wheels fell off before the first whistle ever blew - with our floor general, Colin Doyle, contracting a Canadian strain of the swine flu late in the week (kidding guys! Don’t call CNN!). Colin was so sick he missed the majority of game day preparations - breakfast, team meetings, film, shoot around, and lunch. The first time I saw him was on the team bus, and he looked exhausted…the kind of tired you see after a long east coast, doubleheader weekend. As we unpacked the bus and hustled into the Saddle Dome, Colin assured us he would indeed play and focused our attention on beating Calgary.

I figured Colin Doyle with the flu is still a top ten player in the league, and I prepared mentally and physically for the game. Warm ups were sharp and crisp. Coach Hall, who is the man, gave a great pre-game speech, and we took the field fired up! I sang a bit of O Canada, then after some pushing and shoving with a couple Canadians, the game was on. Well, they were on – firing on all cylinders in every facet of the game. The first quarter was a blur. The opposing offense scored at will, and their defense capitalized on our dumb mistakes.

I could go into more detail about our fumbled game plan, about their sharp shooters picking corners on our extended pressure defense, and about their goalie standing on his head, but I won’t bore you. Lacrosse is an easy game; the team that catches and throws better, communicates, and hustles more is most often the victor. Every Stealth player and coach and even Hawkeye (the equipment guy) knew it was bad when the Calgary goalie, Matt King, scored an empty net goal to end a depressing Stealth first quarter. This was the 6th goal of the game, and the eventual game winner, as we only recorded a season low 5 goals in the entire game. Another sign of our lingering apocalypse was when 10,000 Roughneck fans cheered our first goal, over three quarters into the match…or when mismatched, stinky socks were tossed to the turf, celebrating Calgary captain, Tracy Kelusky’s, supposed sock trick. Attention Roughneck fans – A real sock trick is 6 goals not 5, but his performance was impressive nonetheless. Trust me it felt like he scored 6.

It’s Thursday, and by now everyone has said their goodbyes to coaches, teammates, trainers and the rest of the Stealth staff. We all learned a lot this year, which is usually the case. We always seem to fight our way from the basement of the West and into the postseason. Hopefully, next year we can play the way Calgary has in ’09.

I’ll definitely revisit the season in a future blog, but it’s still too soon to deeply reflect right now. When I close my eyes I can still see those stinky, Canadian socks littering the Saddle Dome floor. Right now I’m off to John Muir Elementary in SF to spread the game! Check out the website onecitylax.org…we are accepting gear donations soon.

Over and out!

Eric Martin

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