Need for stronger attack

by Beacon Staff • March 28, 2007

Even as temperatures rose last weekend, the Emerson lacrosse teams were ice cold. In the first action for either squad since early March, the men's and women's teams combined to go 0-5.

The men, who had won their first game of the season back on March ninth, were out-scored 35-6 in the three games, dropping their record to 1-3.

For the women, losers of their first two, the year has begun much like previous ones.

Coach Mike Blanchard blames both squads' struggles on poor offensive execution.

Against Norwich University, the men lost 8-6.

"We started out slow," Blanchard said. "Defensively, we played well. Offensively, we didn't even seem to get into an offense."

Blanchard also blamed the loss on unnecessary turnovers.

"The kids played hard and they worked hard," Blanchard said. "But ideally, we want them to play hard, work hard, and play smart."

"[The] Norwich [loss] really hurt because the kids worked so hard at preparing for the season," Blanchard said. "They did everything I asked of them and the product they put forward was not indicative to what they showed."

The women were also plagued by poor offensive output.

"We didn't have enough time of possession offensively," said Blanchard.

"For a good offense, a team needs to play hard, hustle, and have a greater skill set," Blanchard added, refering to both teams. "What we're trying to do is elevate the kids' lacrosse IQ while also elevating

the skill set of the individual."

On the same day the men lost to Norwich, the women's team was preyed upon by the Hawks of Roger Williams University. The Lions lost 14-4.

Keri Angus, captain of the team, had not forgotten the way the hawks took advantage of the Lions' weaknesses in a game last year.

"They demolished us," Angus said.

Despite the defeat, Angus said the team's level of play had improved.

"In comparison to last year, this game was a huge step forward," she said. "Last year we didn't even belong on the same field as them. This year we actually competed."

Saturday didn't bring much more luck to both teams. The men lost to the Corsairs of the University of Massachusetts-Dartmouth, 10-0, while the women lost to the Castleton

State College Spartans, 11-10. For the men, it was a thorough trouncing, the Corsairs out-shooting the Lions 67-8 and coming away with 20 more groundballs.

Blanchard said he realized toward the end of the game that it was a long shot.

"With about 9:30 left, I said to the boys, 'Let's forget about everything

prior in this game and play the best 9:30 we can.'"

Dan Leksell, a junior from Berklee

who plays for the Lions, received the game ball for the UMass Dartmouth

game.

"Even though [UMass] scored a fair amount, Dan really stepped up throughout the game," Blanchard said. "He created a lot of offensive turnovers for the other team. He really pulled his weight."

The women were slightly less outmached in a close game against Castleton State. Angus tied the game at eight with 8:25 remaining in the second half and Jessie Kalikow followed with a goal to briefly put the Lions up by one. but the Spartans answered with three straight goals to pull ahead 11-9. With eight seconds remaining, Kalikow scored once more, too little, too late, in an 11-10 loss.

Blanchard was impressed with Kelly Johnson's play in goal during the game.

"She was a force back there. She did a good job of clearing the ball." Johnson received the game ball for that contest.

Angus said she had been looking forward to winning, not only becaue of the team's win-loss record, but to finally get some respect from other teams.

"It would have been a statement to the league," she said. "People would have started to take us more seriously."