Struggles continue for men#039;s lacrosse

by Beacon Staff • April 4, 2007

"I wouldn't say this about every team I've ever coached," Coach Mike Blanchard said. "I really like those kids. They're working hard and they're staying late. They're showing up early, working out and doing the stuff every coach wants them to do.,Emerson's men's lacrosse coach just can't stop praising his players.

"I wouldn't say this about every team I've ever coached," Coach Mike Blanchard said. "I really like those kids. They're working hard and they're staying late. They're showing up early, working out and doing the stuff every coach wants them to do."

Blanchard is optimistic about the rest of the season, despite his team suffering a North Atlantic Conference loss on Saturday to Daniel Webster, 9-6. Emerson fell to 2-4 overall and 1-1 in the league. Daniel Webster is now 2-0 in the league.

The Lions have scored 23 goals this season in NAC games and had 13 scored against them. Meanwhile, Daniel Webster's Eagles made only 17 goals in league play so far this season, while letting eight goals enter their own net.

"During the game, sometimes [the team] just sort of lose[s] sight of the plan that was implemented and freelance," Blanchard said. "Sometimes they try to do too much, and they really want to help each other and they want to succeed. Sometimes they forget about the things they should be doing and that's when they get in trouble."

Captains Matt Horowitz and Chris Chopek agree with their coach when it comes to the team not being at its peak.

"We played hard [against Daniel Webster], but we need to work more on our fundamentals," Chopek said.

Horowitz said he isn't worried about the one league loss his team has tallied.

"We've got a tough load ahead of us, but I wouldn't count us out," Horowitz said. "We're behind but we're not out. There's a lot of games to be played."

Despite the problems on the field, Emerson was able to keep the Eagles circling.

"Quite frankly, we gave [the game] to them," Blanchard said.

Berklee School of Music's Dan Leskell, a starting defenseman, was out of the game on Saturday due to a knee injury. Freshman Josiahs Porter was able to step in and fill the role for his teammate.

"With Dan being hurt, Josiahs came up huge," Blanchard said. "Josiahs is not the biggest guy in the world, but he hits like a freight train. He definitely provided some highlights."

Emerson's Steve Ercolani was also out in the last game with a sore back, leaving the Lions with one less midfielder.

According to Blanchard, who made note of the team's often overzealous offense, the Lions have some improvements to make.

"Our offense just hasn't really gotten going," Blanchard said. "Part of that, I think, is that we're trying to rush the score instead of take our time."

He also said the zone defense sometimes takes up too much time and the athletes often try to rush the opposing cage instead of looking for the right scoring opportunity.

"The Norwich game and the Daniel Webster game, we're against two teams that if we played them again tomorrow, I think we'd beat both of them," Blanchard said. "But they're both games that I think we shot ourselves in the foot by trying to do too much and turning the ball over while doing that."