EN: Kyle Stinchcomb will be blogging for the Clemson Tigers Men’s Lacrosse team on MCLAFan this season, and we’re pumped to have the Tigers on board! They got some BIG wins this weekend, so this week’s post is all about sweet, sweet Redemption!!!
It’s been a couple weeks since I checked in, but I’ll give you a run down of what’s occurred since last time!
Two weekends ago, we traveled to Atlanta to play Texas A&M in an out of conference game. There isn’t much to say about the game, besides that we showed up and took care of business on the field. I played on true astro-turf for the first time and wow, does that do a number on the body!!! I can’t imagine playing football on that or having to practice on that surface. Who needs knees anyway?
The following day we left Clemson on a bus to Savannah, GA to play Savannah College of Art and Design. This game featured the best half of lacrosse we had played as a team to that point. At half time, we were up 10-0. While SCAD is an MCLA D2 team, they’re certainly not a bad lacrosse team at all. They’re currently ranked towards the top of their division and gave us a close 3 quarters last year.
They have a couple very talented attackmen and are well coached, but we just dominated the time of possession and converted on all our opportunities. Apparently I had an assist in that game according to the MCLA website, but I don’t remember that happening. I guess I’ll take what I can get. Junior Defensemen Tom White suffered a broken hand and will likely be out for the season, so that was pretty disappointing. Other then that obvious loss, it was a pretty good trip to Savannah.
Last weekend was Parent’s Weekend for the team, with games against Florida State (in Greenville) and against Wake Forest. Parent’s Weekend festivities also included our annual father-son golf tournament on Friday and our family banquet on the following Saturday night. On Friday we all teed off and let me say that some of us were not very good at golf.
I was particularly atrocious but it was a good time nonetheless. It was a lot of fun to be out there with our families. Most of us on the team are out of state students who live pretty far away, so we really enjoy the time when our families make the trip down. Everyone broke off and had dinner with their families, and then had a quiet night to get ready for Florida State.
Let me preface the following paragraphs by saying this: Florida State has been the premier team in the SELC the past couple years. They have accomplished a lot, and last year were a VERY good team. They were the only team we lost to, and as a result, the only team I had ever lost to in college before we played BC this year. Their program’s success in terms of wins is one that we want to emulate.
My opinions also do not represent every player on the team, but just how I see the personality of their team as a whole.
Saturday was the day we have had circled on our schedule since the end of the SELC tournament last April. Florida State beat us twice last year, and I have no doubt they were a better team than us. Even if we were playing our best lacrosse, I think they would have still have beaten us. The University of South Carolina may be our rival in terms of history, but Florida State is our real rival as of late. We’ve talked about beating Florida State even since we lost in the conference championship and last Saturday was our time to do it.
We played the game in Greenville at the Kroc center, and the turnout was phenomenal. There was probably anywhere from 300-400 people at the game and it had the atmosphere of a big game. It was after all the #1 vs. #2 team’s in the conference playing each other. There was a lot at stake for both teams and it just felt like we were going to have a good game.
Right before the game our order of STX Assault gloves, our Nike Flow shooters and our team order of Nike Volt socks came in as well. We decided that for the big game against FSU we were going to break out the Volt socks. We were a little worried about wearing them, considering the history of the last lacrosse team to wear Volt (‘Cuse losing in the quarterfinals) but it ended up paying off.
The first half of the game was a tight one, with both teams battling back and forth. At the end of the half, it was 3-2 in our favor.
In the second half, we really dominated the game. We outscored them 7-1 in the second half and just completely controlled the game. Our defense held strong and our offense really set the tempo for the half. The final was a convincing win, ending at 10-3.
Alex Branton, our goalie, played huge, ending up with 18 saves (for some reason on the MCLA website it says 15), Charlie Pontiakos controlled the face-offs, and our senior attack men Chris Buechele and William Patch each had 4 points.
It was a great game for us and it felt amazing to win it with all of our families and friends there. We received many compliments on our socks and our white Pro-7’s with orange chrome facemasks. We might have to break those socks out again somewhere down the road.
On Sunday, we played Wake Forest and had the pleasure to see one of our alumnae from last year, Brett Becker, coaching on their sideline. The game itself wasn’t very noteworthy. We took care of business and got the win in a fashion that we needed to do it in. In doing so, we also clinched a spot in the SELC playoffs in late April. Best of luck to lose guys as they continue their season.
We did find out after the game that Georgia Tech also beat FSU that day. It was pretty surprising to hear that and I’d be interested to hear how that game was. I guess we’ll see as the season goes on how our conference shapes up.
In the end, we can really only worry about ourselves and take care of business on the field. We have a big Friday night game this week against Georgia Tech in Sirrine Stadium in Greenville, the sight of the 2012 National Championship. I just hope it’s not our last time playing there.
That’s all for this week but I should have a post up shortly with all our equipment and apparel for the season. It’s all finally in and it looks great. Until next time, follow us on twitter @ClemsonLacrosse or find us on facebook. Fight Tigers.
EDITOR’S NOTE: Portions of this post have been changed at the request of the author.