LTU compiles 3-6 record in inaugural lacrosse season
Monday, April 29th, 2013
There are many challenges a new team faces during its inaugural season. The Lawrence Technological University lacrosse team met the challenges and did better than some people predicted by finishing with an overall record of 3-6.
“There were several challenges to overcome,” said LTU’s Head Coach Kevin Riley. “Finding practice locations for players with demanding schedules, teaching the new players the game of lacrosse, and getting my coaching style to reach the players so they understand the offense and defense schemes.”
For the most part, the Blue Devils performance on the field met Coach Riley’s expectations.
“We were picked to not win a game this season but we won three,” said Coach Riley. “I believe we had the opportunity to win two more.”
One of those victories was the first game of the season when the visiting Blue Devils defeated Carnegie Mellon University, 8-7, in overtime. It was the season highlight for Coach Riley who credits the team’s strengths to the leadership by the offensive captain, junior Bryan Burnham (Rochester Hills, MI), and defensive captain, sophomore Zach Matelic (Grand Rapids, MI).
Coach Riley also acknowledged the improved performance of junior attacker Justin Killewald (St. Clair, MI) and sophomore midfielder Justin Clark (Chesterfield Twp., MI). Killewald and Clark finished among the leaders in the Wolverine-Hoosier Athletic Conference rankings along with freshman goalie Adam Gohl (Clarkston, MI).
Gohl is ranked first in saves per game with a 14.33 average despite LTU’s 0-4 conference record. Killewald is fifth in man-up goals per game with a 0.33 average and Clark ranks seventh in shots per game averaging 5.67.
Looking forward to next season, Coach Riley said the team will need to improve on the basic fundamentals of passing and catching.
“If a team cannot pass and catch then everything else in the game will be very difficult. This year we had several players who had never played the game, so that was in itself a challenge,” said the coach. “Next season we will have a larger coaching staff, practice facilities will be better for team practices, and the incoming players will have ‘lacrosse knowledge’ and several years of experience.”
So far, recruiting for next season is going very well. “I have five players committed and four more awaiting their decision. I am looking to have 10-12 players for the incoming class,” said Coach Riley.
Northwood defeats LTU, 10-7
The Blue Devils’ first goal was scored by junior attacker Bryan Burnham (Rochester Hills, MI), on an assist from junior midfielder Justin Killewald (St. Clair, MI). Sophomore midfielder Justin Clark (Chesterfield Twp., MI) made it 2-0 with an assist from Burnham. Northwood got on the board about 30 seconds later and tied the game at the start of the second quarter on a shorthanded goal.
Goals by Clark, assisted by sophomore midfielder Matt Scarchilli (Troy, MI), and Scarchilli, assisted by Nick Folk (Flagler Palms, FL), gave LTU two more leads, but Northwood tied it up again two more times in the second quarter.
Clark claimed his third goal to give LTU a 5-4 advantage on an assist by sophomore midfielder Adam Franzel (Romeo, MI). Then once again, Northwood tied the game at the close of the third quarter and took the lead seconds into the fourth. LTU answered back with a goal by Franzel assisted by Scarchilli, tying it up at 6-6.
Starting at the 11:32 mark the Timberwolves scored three times in about three minutes to take a 9-6 lead. Clark scored for the fourth time with an unassisted goal at 5:51. Northwood regained its three-goal advantage by scoring with 1:05 left to play.
Proceeds from the game were donated to the Karmanos Cancer Institute as part of the “Stick it to Cancer” campaign. The Blue Devils and other lacrosse teams in Michigan joined together in sponsoring cancer fund-raising events during the season.