Lake lacrosse looks to bounce-back after season-opener

MILFORD – A season ago, Lake Forest had swept rival Milford in lacrosse. A season-opening 11-8 victory at home, and a 13-7 road victory a month later.

This year’s first of two match-ups with the Buccaneers last Wednesday, March 22, unfortunately for head coach Brandon Savage, didn’t go quite as well.

Milford’s first goal went through the net just a few minutes into the game, and the scoring didn’t stop until the final whistle of the fourth quarter.

Lake walked back to the team bus with a season-opening 18-4 loss at the hands of the Bucs.

“I think our experience showed,” coach Savage said. “We had a strong core of seniors last year who graduated, and I think this is a learning experience for us. I’m glad we got this one out of the way. It hurts, but it hurts a little bit less that it’s our first game of the season.”

Lake Forest’s young defense struggled against Milford’s offensive attack, allowing 54 shots on goal. It was goalie Nate Carey’s first action in the net with varsity.

Junior Kurt Moyer sprints down the field in Lake’s season-opener against Milford last week (The Journal/Ben Heck).

“Parker Sard, Kurt Moyer, Carter Kenton and our goalie Nate Carey, it’s his first time as goalie and he stepped up big for us today,” coach Savage said of who he thinks will be stepping up for him this year. “He [Carey] didn’t even play last year, it’s his first time playing. Our whole defense was on JV last year, so now they’re getting some varsity experience. Right now we’re just hoping they learn from everything they do on the field. I’m pretty sure they’ll remember this one.”

Coach Savage believes his team simply got out-hustled by the Bucs, and he made sure to let his team know following the game that they need to want it more.

“That’s what I told my guys, they need to want it more,” he said. “We got out-hustled. I’m sure that when I look at the stat book we lost the ground ball game, we lost the clear game, we lost every hustle stat, and I think we need to emphasize that for the next time out.”

Coach Savage and the Spartans’ don’t plan on letting this loss distract them from season goals. Coming off an 11-4 season last year, including a state tournament appearance, the Spartans’ hope to return to the tournament and make some noise.

“First goal is to always win the division, and then second goal is to win some playoff games,” coach Savage said.

Though they’ll be looking to the next game on the schedule, there’s little doubt that Lake is looking forward to its home rematch with Milford Friday, April 28.

For now, though, the Spartans will focus on preparing for Red Lion Friday, March 31. The game is slated to begin at 4 p.m.

Sports Editor Ben Heck can be reached at bheck@newszap.com.

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