Injury bug attacks Lax

by Beacon Staff • April 19, 2006

The Duke University men's lacrosse scandal took another turn earlier this week when two players were indicted on charges they sexually assaulted an exotic dancer at a team party.

On the home front, the Emerson men's lacrosse team is dealing with problems of its own.,It has not been a good month for lacrosse.

The Duke University men's lacrosse scandal took another turn earlier this week when two players were indicted on charges they sexually assaulted an exotic dancer at a team party.

On the home front, the Emerson men's lacrosse team is dealing with problems of its own. The Lions have limped to a 3-6 record and have lost four players to season-ending injuries. On top of that, two players recently quit.

Sophomore attacker Matt Horowitz, who leads the team in scoring, pointed to the high number of injuries as the reason for the Lions' lack of success.

"I think the injuries are the main problem," he said. "We're going out to games with 13 guys. We don't have enough players. It's extremely frustrating."

Frustration has been the theme of the season.

After an impressive 6-1 victory over Norwich Academy to start the season, the Lions lost three of their next four games with scores that were not even close. In those three losses, the team was outscored 38-9.

A 7-3 win last Wednesday over Becker College briefly evened the team's record to 3-3 and gave the Lions a glimmer of hope. But just as quickly, any chance of a successful season was extinguished after a pair of blowout losses over the weekend to Daniel Webster College and Clark University.

Freshman attacker Zander Hartung, who became one of the walking wounded when he hurt his lower back, said the injuries have had a snowball effect.

"I don't know if it's been bad luck or what," said Hartung. "When the rest of the team has to play even more, it increases the chance of [someone else] getting injured. Numbers are really the big problem. Especially in lacrosse when you're running up and down the field, you just get tired."

Junior midfielder Nick Periera blamed fatigue and lack of experience on the part of the remaining players as reasons for the Lion's recent poor play.

"Guys [are getting] a lot of playing time but don't have a lot of legs," said Periera. "And we've had kids at positions they're not familiar with."

Because the Lions have so few healthy players, resting those still available has not been an option. Instead the team has had to adjust its game plan in order to give players a break.

"It's tough to go out there," said Horowitz. "I'm an attacker and we're trying to hold the ball and let those guys rest instead of attacking all the time."

Aside from their injury problems, the Lions have had trouble playing fundamental lacrosse.

"Our defense is good but our offense gets a little sloppy at times," said Periera. "If we controlled the ball more it would help our defense."

But it is a simple lack of manpower and fresh legs that again and again seem to be at the root of all the team's dilemmas.

Soon, however, the Lions will have plenty of time to rest and heal. The squad plays its final game this Sunday at home against Thomas College. There will be no playoffs this year, so Sunday will mark the end of a season that started with so much promise and finishes with so much pain.

"It's just frustrating," repeated Hartung.