Sam Bernstein staff writer
The Normans had a tumultuous few weeks leading up to the game, learning that several starters from last year’s squad would not be returning to the team this season. Senior attackman Brian Harward felt like that hurt the team’s chances in this game.
“We just need to understand that those people aren’t a part of our team. We need to stop looking for that spark of offense and we need to just run our plays,” Harward said.
While the score may not have been in the Normans’ favor, some things went well for the team. Several players were able to celebrate the first game of their first full season on varsity lacrosse. Those players were sophomores Ethan Gorin, Michael Kerrigan and Mason Ware, as well as juniors Jacob Fox, Jason Mirharooni, Leo Padilla and Maani Tuli.
“I had butterflies, but it was a lot of fun. I was under a lot of pressure, but I felt like my older contemporaries really assisted me through my first match,” Gorin said. “At first, it was kind of scary playing with a different team, but we all have each other’s backs and we’re all going for the same goal: to get the win.”
Even with some distractions, the Normans were able to keep the game close. The team had the lead going into the fourth quarter and were connecting on a high percentage of their shots. Head Coach Kyle Kobe and his assistant coaches made some halftime adjustments that helped the team score two goals late in the game.
“We just told the guys to be confident in their ability to create a shot,” Kobe said. “We have some guys that are quick and can dodge and can get a really get a good shot. In the first half some of them looked a little reluctant to shoot the ball, so we just reminded them that if you put shots on the ground, you have a really good chance that they’ll go in and that’s what we started doing in the third.”
The Normans, who were up 3-2 as late as 10:13 in the fourth, struggled to keep the game close in the last quarter of the game. The team had a hard time keeping the Jackrabbits offense in check, allowing three goals in seven minutes of play.
“The defensive breakdowns were off,” senior midfielder Benji Liker said. “Since we were in a zone [defense], we didn’t give up outside shots, but on the inside we were slow to slide and we gave up too many inside goals.”
The Normans’ next game is on Saturday, March 3. They have a home doubleheader, playing the Hamilton High School Yankees (0-2) and Hart High School Indians (0-2). The games are both exhibitions and start at 9 a.m. and 3 p.m., respectively.