The first men’s lacrosse game took place over the weekend—although it didn’t go exactly as planned. After a five-hour drive to play Fontbonne University in St. Louis, the team of all first-years experienced a four-hour delay and a change of venue.
The game was close—they were tied with five minutes left—but in the end the Bucs came up short at 10-8.
Nevertheless, Head Coach Bob Dignazio was proud of how his team maintained focus and was appreciative of the support from the many college staff members who either came to the game or sent him texts and emails afterwards.
Read on as Dignazio talks to the Terrarium about the delay, the game, and the future.
Q: How did it feel to finally play the first game?
A: We’ve been talking about lacrosse now for a year and a half, so it was good for the guys to get out on the field and play a game that counts. They were definitely excited. One of our captains said in the locker room before the game that we don’t want to be the new kid in school who gets pushed around. We play to win, but it was nice for them to be in a position to win late in the game.
Q: What were you proud of during the game?
The way they played for 60 minutes. We went up in the beginning and then down in the middle of the game, but we didn’t give up. We kept fighting and tied the game at the end going into the last five minutes. I was proud of that. We scored more goals than we had in our scrimmages, which was good to see. Our goalie had 24 saves, which, if a goalie has more than 20 saves it’s a good game, so he stepped up. We also won all the face-offs in one of the quarters, so our face-off guy really stepped up, too.
Q: How did you keep the delay from affecting your team’s performance?
A: I told the guys to stay focused on what we’re doing here. We’re on a mission. The game has moved a little bit, but we still have to stay focused. We went to lunch. We walked around town a little bit. We kept them out of their hotel rooms and kept them moving. The team is full of first-years and change can throw guys off, but they did well.
Q: How did your players feel after the game?
They wanted to win the game. The guys were upset at first, but they knew that we were in the game and knew we had a shot to win. We were against a team of juniors and seniors, and it really just came down to executing in the last five minutes. We had our chances, and we just didn’t execute.
It was a five-hour road trip already, and it was our first game ever against a team of juniors and seniors. The game was pushed back four hours and the venue was changed, but we didn’t let that become an excuse for us. This year is more about establishing the culture of the team, and they created the foundations of the first game ever in program history. We had our first goal in program history, we had our first save, first ground ball, first assist…so that was definitely exciting for them.
Next up: the men’s lacrosse team plays three away games over spring break against Transylvania University, Oglethorpe University, and Piedmont College on March 3, 6, and 9, respectively. The women’s team plays their first game at home on Friday against Alma College at 4:30 p.m.