SWW Boy’s Lacrosse Determined to Close the Season With a Win

Posted on: May 18th, 2012 by Jennifer Boulanger

sww boys laxteamphoto 400x280pxby KEANU ROSS-CABRERA
12th Grade

The School Without Walls isn’t necessarily known for its long and diverse roster of sports teams, but Boy’s Lacrosse does, in fact, grace that list. With the exception of perhaps the Bowling team, Boy’s Lacrosse may be the most contact-oriented (read: violent) sport to be found at Walls. For individuals who are unfamiliar with the game, lacrosse functions as a somewhat unholy and utterly awesome child of hockey and soccer, with football as its godfather. The premise is relatively simple: using lacrosse sticks (literally a stick with a little net at the end), players try to put a small rubber ball past the opposing team’s goalie (who has a stick with an even bigger net on it) and into the fairly small goal. Each team’s defenders (three per team) are not allowed to cross midfield onto the opposite team’s half, and each team’s attack-men (also three per team) are not allowed to cross mid-field back onto their own side.

If you’ve never seen a game, a glance at the average lacrosse player might leave you with a few questions.

Look at those helmets and protective pads! Will there be contact?

Yes, would be the answer. Shoulder and body checks are legal so long as the player on the receiving end is in possession of the ball and the initiating player is attempting to gain possession. You can’t just hit people for no good reason.

Look at those sticks! They look dangerous!

Well, that isn’t exactly a question. In general poke-checks (poking a player with the head of your stick) and pushes (placing your hands close together and pushing the other player with your gloves) are legal so long as they do not make contact with the head, back, or legs, and are with the intent to gain possession of the ball. If a player is in passion of the ball, another may hit his stick with the intention of having the ball drop out. Just whacking another player with the stick is not only considered a foul, but generally frowned upon in most social circles.

That being said, legal hits are something that we as a team pride ourselves on. Spectators at each game would rarely see a Walls player in the penalty box. The teams we faced, however (Wilson, Lab School, and KIPP DC), were repeat offenders.

SWW Boy’s Lacrosse’s season had an auspicious start. Founded in the 2010–2011 school year, not only has the fledgling team seen a change coaches, but also a shortage players. Coach Kiehl Christie (Teacher, SWW) and Coach Kyle Webb (Undergrad, GWU) both volunteered to step into the position vacated by Matthew Ambrosio (Teacher, SWW) who left to pursue graduate studies after last school year. Of the sixteen athletes on the team’s roster (a small team by most school’s standards), many are also recent additions, and several had never played the sport before. Also, due to limited funding, the Boy’s Lacrosse team relies on the ever stalwart services of the Metro Bus and Rail system to get them to their games.

The Boy’s Lacrosse Team opened up their season Tuesday, April 17th, with a narrow 4-3 loss to the Lab School of Washington. The game was played with shortened ten minute quarters and saw impressive goals scored by Captain Corey Matthews and Sophomores Curtis Williams and Jordan Johnson, against larger, but not more intimidating, opponents. The Walls attack-men and mid-fielder’s played an impressive game, rarely allowing the ball to get back to the defending end of the field.

Barely two days later the team faced their second game (Thursday, April 19th) against Wilson High School. A ferocious game served the Penguins with a 10-1 loss, the defense finding their footing towards the end of the second half and preventing further points from the unrelenting onslaught of Tigers’ offense. Walls’ only goal was scored by Captain Dike Ukwuani against the heart of the Wilson defense who for the entire match played a strong and vicious game.

A week later, Walls was handed another defeat in their match against KIPP DC, with a worse-than-it-seems score of 4-2. Despite high expectations the élan of the Boy’s team suffered a heavy blow with KIPP’s unexpected three goals in the opening of the first quarter. Walls’ defense dug in their feet , stopping all but one subsequent attempt to score. The turning point occurred in the third quarter when KIPP’s goalie, attempting to pass the ball to the midfield line, accidentally scored on himself. The remainder of the game saw Walls’ offense trying time and again to get through KIPP’s heavy defense, but try as they might there was little success till the late game when Captain Dike Ukwuani managed to send one into the net.

Captains, Coaches, and players are determined to end the losses with the game against KIPP. With only a few more games left in the season, which began with the May 1st rematch against Wilson High School, the SWW Boy’s Lacrosse Team is looking to add the first win to its season.

Team Roster
Coleman, Christopher
Dosunmu, Taiwo
Edwards, Khufu
Johnson, Jordan
Mastewal, Philemon
Matthews, Corey
Mejia, Gabriel
Ross- Cabrera, Keanu
Scarlett, Eric
Smith, Tunde
Tabb, Tyrus
Ukwuani, Chibudike
Wackler, Leo
Williams, Curtis
Wilson, Theodore