Editor’s Note: Please welcome Kyle Stinchcomb and the Clemson Men’s Lacrosse Team to LAS! The guys on this up and coming MCLA D1 Lax squad from the south will be blogging with LAS all season long, and we’re extremely excited to be able to show you the insides of a southern MCLA program like Clemson. Kyle will be leading the way on the blogging front for Clemson, so we’ll let him take it away!
I’d like to just start out by saying thanks to Connor and all the other staff members at Laxallstars.com for allowing us to contribute to their website. LaxAllStars.com is at the forefront of the lacrosse world for news on MCLA programs, and lacrosse as a whole, and we’re excited to be a part of it!
Last year was one of the best in our program’s history and we look forward to maintaining that success for years to come. We went 14-2, with both losses coming to a very talented Florida State team. We opened up the 2011 season with 7 straight wins in decisive fashion. And while it was an admittedly weak (relatively speaking) opening schedule, it really allowed us to set the tone for the season. We then traveled to play a formidable Florida State team, and it was our first real test to see how we stacked up against top level competition.
We came up short, losing 19-12. But after that loss, we regrouped and reeled off 5 straight wins, including a decisive win over a more established MCLA tournament team in SUNY-Buffulo, and a close game against a UGA team coming off a huge upset win over Virginia Tech.
We finished up the regular season with the biggest game of the year, against the University of South Carolina. The game was big enough that the university even let us use the football team’s practice field for the game. Anyone who has ever seen a big college football program’s practice facilities knows how much of a privilege that is. The atmosphere could not have been better. It was played under the lights, featured two ranked teams in the MCLA, easily had 500 plus fans, and all in a heated rivalry for the title of the best team in South Carolina. What ensued was possibly the best game of the 2011 MCLA season.
We battled back and forth, trading goals all game, before Mike “the Hammer” Diracco sealed the win. Our seniors graduated with never losing to University of South Carolina in any lacrosse game.
The highlight tape isn’t even slanted towards Clemson. It was just that good of a game. Buechele and Kilbourne just sniping from all over the field. Fun stuff! 2012 should be equally exciting!
In the SELC playoffs, we beat West Virginia and a talented Virginia Tech team in a close game. We then again fell to Florida State in the SELC conference finals, ending our season at 14-2, and at the time ranked #13 in the country in the MCLA polls. In the final polls, Clemson sits at #15.
the success of last year fresh in our minds, we could not wait to get back on the field. We started our fall ball last week and we look primed to pick up where we left off.
We’re only three practices in, but it’s clear we’ve added even more talent. Several freshman and transfers look to add even more depth to a team that finished with its highest ranking ever last year. We return almost all of our offense, and our defense is looking to replenish with young talent after losing 3 starters to graduation. Our attack unit returns all of last year’s starters, with Will Patch and Chris Buechele
combining for 136 points and James McLoughlin contributing 29 points in only 7 games before going down with a knee injury.
Our spring schedule is shaping up to be much more competitive then last year. We have set dates with Boston College, Florida State, and University of Central Florida, and are in works to schedule games with even more ranked opponents. We really look forward to playing the toughest schedule we can reasonably manage right now, and proving that we do belong in the top ranks of the MCLA.
I look forward to sharing our fall ball and spring season with the LaxAllStars.com community. We hope that you guys enjoy hearing about our program as much as we enjoy playing for it. Look for more out of us in a couple of weeks after our first taste of competition in fall scrimmages, possibly with even some more video. In the mean time, be sure to follow us on Twitter @ClemsonLacrosse or find us on Facebook at Clemson Mens Lacrosse.