Editor’s Note: Please welcome senior goalie and captain, Jake Springer of the Alabama Lacrosse team to MCLA Fan. He will be shedding some light on all things Tide Lacrosse throughout the season. Find out more on Alabama’s lacrosse program here and see of all Jake’s contributions here.
“You can learn a line from a win and a book from defeat.”
Two weeks ago, our team was 3-0. We were fresh off a double overtime victory against Tennessee and, according to legendary football coach Paul Brown, had learned 3 lines about ourselves. Since then, we’ve lost to divisional opponent Ole Miss 8-7 in double overtime, blew a halftime lead against South Carolina to lose 12-8, and blew a 5-4 fourth quarter lead against West Virginia to lose 7-5.
I love pie, but lately I’ve had a few too many slices of Humble Pie.
Sure, there were positives this past weekend. Many of our families were able to make the trip. Parents from Long Island, Baltimore, Atlanta and Orlando all made the trek to see us play: a rarity when their sons go to school so far away.
After a quiet game against Ole Miss, Chris Palasek went nuts, scoring 5 goals against Carolina and 2 against WVU. Team jokester Andrew Feeney got serious and scored his first two goals of the season. Defenseman Dan Perovich was excellent in his first start of the year.
There were also a couple negatives. We led in the second half of both games but lost both. We were reckless with the ball and didn’t sustain possessions or clear well. But we can’t afford to dwell on this weekend, because our schedule only gets tougher. If there is one thing you learn playing lacrosse, it’s that a very short-term memory is an asset.
A short-term memory served us well last year when we started our season 1-4. We lost to Division 3 Birmingham Southern in our first game. The following week, we beat LSU and lost to both Vanderbilt and Northeastern. Where was our turning point in 2012? The game after our two losses: at Georgia Tech.
For anyone who has ever played at Georgia Tech, you know about their unorthodox field. For those who aren’t familiar with it, Tech’s astroturf (or should I say ‘green parking lot’) means one bad pass can turn into a fast break goal in two bounces. The Yellow Jackets have a distinct home field advantage in that respect, but sometimes, that ball bounces your way.
Take last year for instance. We found ourselves down 6-2 in the third quarter. Our team came to a catharsis during a time out. Either we let this one slip away, lay down and quit, or we get mad and do something about it. The turning point for me was hearing some of the stuff Tech fans were yelling.
I expect to be heckled. As a goalie, you are the easiest target for insults. You let a goal in and, inherently, “you suck.” A couple fans, who I suppose looked me up on Facebook, found out my mother’s and sister’s names.
My reaction wasn’t cordial.
Some of the players on our bench were targeted as well and the team collectively decided enough was enough. We finished on a 6-0 run and came back to win 8-6, with Shane Ryan scoring the gamewinner and Kent Groff icing it with two minutes to go.
This season, our team has a similar opportunity. Georgia Tech comes into this game 9-2 and ranked #16 nationally. I’m sure they fully expect to win this game. But if there’s anything our teams learned last season, it is to never sleep on your opponent.
This week, our team is hungry for a win. I just hope we don’t save room for any humble pie.
About Alabama Lacrosse
Alabama’s next game is this Friday in Tuscaloosa, AL against the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets. For more information on the Crimson Tide, please visit TideLax.com, like us on Facebook at Alabama Lacrosse Club, or follow us on Twitter at @TideLax.