Clemson Tigers Men’s Lacrosse Blog: Fall Update

CLemson team shot Southern Comfort 2011 tourney
Clemson team shot from the SoCo tourney.

I just want to start off by saying that our thoughts and prayers go out to the Boston College Men’s lacrosse team and the Racanelli family. The lacrosse community is a small one and when one team goes through a tragedy, we all feel it.

It’s been a while since I’ve checked in, and since then we’ve played 7 scrimmages and finished up our fall ball season. I apologize for the long gap but I’ll do my best to summarize what has happened in Tiger Town since then.

On November 23rd we traveled to Piedmont, GA for scrimmages against the University of Georgia and newly formed Division 3 squad Piedmont College. In our first game against Georgia, we came out very slow, sloppy and out of sync against a team that is more then willing to capitalize on your mistakes. Last spring Georgia gave us one of our toughest games of the season. Anyone that played them last year can tell you that they might be one of the fastest, most athletic teams in the MCLA. They were no different this time around with their midfield really pushing the tempo and their talented attackmen finishing. We fell into a hole and never dug our way out of it, and ended up losing by a goal.

There’s about a hundred excuses we could make as to why we lost but at the end of the day they just straight up outplayed us.  I can tell that they will be a team in the SELC playoff picture this spring.  Our second scrimmage against Piedmont College was one of the more interesting
games I’ve played in. We were playing on Piedmont’s field and they had a decent crowd out there to see the game. Piedmont came out firing and was very intense from the first whistle. We were sluggish again until our senior midfielder Jon Kilbourne ran over a Piedmont Midfielder on a bull dodge and ripped a shot from about 12 yards out to end the first half. He sparked us and really woke us up after 6 quarters of some pretty bad play from us.

The game was a close one but we pulled away and ended up winning.  Piedmont was impressive for a team made up of all freshmen and a brand new program. We wish Coach Manderano and Piedmont College the best in building their program and Growing The Game!!!!

On the Weekend of November 5th and 6th, we hosted our fifth annual Southern Comfort tournament. It is the culmination of all of our efforts in the fall and the highlight of the season for us. MCLA teams Savannah College of Art and Design, College of Charleston, Kennesaw State, and our rivals over at University of South Carolina came, as well as NCLL team University of North Carolina. We went 5-0, including a come from behind victory of South Carolina and a close game with UNC.

Clemson Tigers Lacrosse FDNY shirts
Reppin the FDNY after a fall win over USC!

We played much better that weekend as a team compared to our previous games against Piedmont and UGA. We looked much better on both sides of the ball with certain guys stepping up when we needed it most. Sophomore goalie Alex Branton came up big for us against South Carolina and UNC. Sophomore Midfielder Alex Janeck had to key goals towards the end of the South Carolina game, one of which was an absolute rip from about 15+ yards away. Freshman Face off man Charlie Pontiakos controlled the face off x the majority of the weekend. The defense looked much more in sync but still lacked some communication at times. We still have a lot of room for improvement but it was a good end to the fall. We really enjoy the support we received from the booster club, as well as all the families of players who made the trip down to see us play. Thank you for all your support.

Last week we announced captains for the spring and I believe we really chose some great guys who personify what we’re looking for both on and off the field.  Senior attack man Will Patch is back as a captain again, and looks to continue his success after being named an Honorable Mention All-American last year in the MCLA. His line mate James McLoughlin will join him as a captain as he makes a return to the field this spring after going down with a knee injury last season. James had 29 points through 7 games last year and is easily one of the most cerebral
lacrosse players on our team. Senior midfielder Jon Kilbourne is our last captain after posting 38 points last year, earning all conference and all tournament awards.  Kilbourne is one of our most passionate, explosive players on our team and we really look up to him to provide intensity on the field.

I think those three will do a great job leading us in the 2012 season.

We also managed to land on the cover of “MCLA, The Lax Mag” for their newest issue and the cover shot is superb. Way too much swag for one photograph. Junior LSM Andrew Paradise seems to be averse to jumping. Be sure to check that out if you get the chance.

Well that’s about it from us for the fall season. I’ll be sure to check in right when we come back for the spring. We have a few surprises in stock in the gear and apparel department so once we finalize those we’ll be sure to share with the guys over at Sweet Sweet Lax. Fight Tigers!

For now, we’ll show off our shooter and shorts.  McLoughlin’s father helped us with these as a way to honor the fallen FDNY in the 9/11 tragedies. We had a variety of different engine companies and shirts that we gave to the team to wear for the South Carolina Game. “343 Never
Forget” on the sleeve to remember the number of firefighters who lost their lives that day.

FDNY lacrosse t shirt clemson
343 Never Forget!

And here’s a shot of our fall ball shorts. Pretty flashy and a little bit of fun for fall ball. These things sold out fast at the SOCO tournament!

Clemson fall ball shorts
Sweet, sweet fall ball attire!