On Thursday night, the Crusader LAX programed suffered a close defeat to the Foster Falcons 8-5 in their final home game of the 2018 season. Foster came in undefeated against DIII Varsity opponents and almost overlooked the Crusaders who are now 1-8 on the season. The Falcons feature some of the top overall players in the 10-team DIII league with first team all-stars at Goalie, Face Off, Attack and Midfield. However, the Crusaders came ready to play on Senior night and punched the Falcons in the face in intensity and physical defense in the first half.
The first quarter was a defensive battle with neither team scoring until M. DeMattia (Jr.) took a dead ball coast-to-coast and found the back of the net with 2:21 left. The Crusader defense held the Falcons scoreless for the rest of the quarter (only the 2nd quarter all season where CLHS’ opponent hasn’t scored). Goalie Z. Sly (So.) had multiple saves to get the clean sheet for the quarter in addition to strong 1 on 1 defensive match-ups by team captains and defensemen, C. Denison (Sr.) and K. Terry (Sr.).
2nd quarter started off with the Falcons winning the opening face-off and 18 seconds later, the game was tied at 1-1. But the Crusaders were not fazed as they regained the lead 2-1 two minutes later when they capitalized on a man-up situation after a Falcon penalty. DeMattia made a couple moves and dished to a cutting-to-goal D. Davison (So.). After a few defensive penalties on the Crusaders, the Saders were pinned with their backs up against the wall as they were playing 4 on 6. Sly came up with a big save and found an open attack men up field in J. Beamesderfer (Jr.). Still down two men, Beamesderfer cut through the defense and found N. Villarreal (Sr.) who buried it in the back of the net (team’s first man down goal of the season) and the Saders were up 3-1 with 7:14 left in the 2nd quarter.
The Falcons fought back as they pushed two late 2nd quarter goals through to draw even at half time. Their momentum continued into the start of the 3rd quarter as they scored to take the lead once and for all, needing only 41 seconds to find themselves leading 4-3. Foster continued to extend their lead over the next 7 minutes with two more goals to make it 6-3 before the Saders stopped the run with an unassisted goal by Beamesderfer to bring it to 6-4.
Concordia would get one more goal by DeMattia early in the fourth quarter to make it a 6-5 game but the experienced Falcon team came out on top in the end 8-5 to avoid the upset from the senior Crusaders.
Up next for the Concordia Lacrosse team is the Westside Wolves in the first round of the THSLL DIII City Playoffs on Monday, April 16 at 5 pm. Earlier in the season, these two teams faced off in Concordia’s first home game with the Wolves winning, 15-3. The game was close for the first half but the Wolves ended the game on a 9-0 run. The Crusaders will look to lock down the offensive weapons for the Wolves to extend their season.