The Cate Rams lacrosse team took the field for the first time in over a year and played a tight 13-18 loss against a tough Oak Park team.
It was a gorgeous day on the Mesa and a real privilege to play in front of a sideline full of fans. It was obvious from the minute our warm-ups started how much we’ve all been looking forward to this day.
Oak Park got on the board first after recovering a rebound in front of the cage. Cate fired back quickly though, with a Murray-Osborn to Murray Osborn connection – certainly a pattern we expect to see more of over the next two years. Our midfield continued to set a blistering pace over the next 8 minutes and helped put Cate up 4-1 after the older (Xander) Murray-Osborn ’22 netted three nice outside shots.
At this point in the game, Oak Park’s experience (this is their seventh game of the season) and our lack thereof started to show. We lost a bit of composure on defense and ended the quarter up 4-3.
The second quarter was less in our favor as we struggled to get steady possessions on offense, leading to some exhausting defensive play. James Marin ’21, Peter Coors ’21, and Will Bouma ’22 gave us everything they had and we got some glimpses of how dominant this defensive unit will be once we get our systems down. Some great individual efforts from Harry McAdam ’23 on attack and Adrian Binns ’21 in the goal helped us keep things close. We went into halftime down 9-7.
We made some significant improvements on defense in the third quarter, tightening up our ground ball play in the midfield and finding a better rhythm on the offensive end. Again Xander and Harry led the way with 1 and 3 more goals respectively while Binns netted another 3 saves, several from right on the doorstep. We managed to tie it midway through the quarter and finished down 12-11.
Both teams looked ragged through the fourth quarter, but Oak Park was able to capitalize on a greater share of our mistakes than the other way around. The final score doesn’t tell the whole story of how close this game was as we gave up our last four goals while in “hail mary” mode.
This is a team full of competitors and our intensity never wavered for the full 48 minutes. While the goals came mostly from veterans, we got tremendous support from newer players all over the field. Wade Neiman 23, Oscar Livingston ’23, and Jack Whelan ’23 all played with confidence well beyond their one-game-last-year experience. Newcomers Ned Sigler ’21 and Albert Barber ’21 anchored our defense with selfless and athletic play. And, tremendous credit goes to freshmen Elliot Murray Osborn and Kristian Scurtis who led the team in hustle all over the field – you might have thought this was their third or fourth year in our program given how seamlessly they executed our systems.
We’re looking forward to getting back to practice on Monday to clean up some of what we learned today. We head to Ojai Tuesday to squash some Toads and are eager to have another 48 minutes to compete. That game will begin at 4:30.