The Santa Fe Raiders boys lacrosse team hosted the Maclay Marauders on Tuesday night. It was a hard-fought game for the Raiders that ultimately ended in a 7-3 loss, dropping their record to 1-2 on the young season.
Slow Start Leads to Early Deficit
Maclay won the opening faceoff, a play that would set the tone for most of the first half. The Marauders started fast, controlling the possession for the first four minutes of the game. Santa Fe had trouble clearing the ball early, but remained even with Maclay by way of great defensive stick checks and a couple nice saves by goalie Tucker Hodges.
With struggles to clear and the inability to maintain possession, the Raiders’ defense could only keep the game scoreless for so long. Maclay scored the game’s first goal late in the first quarter and tacked on two more early in the second quarter, making it 3-0 Marauders.
Offense Settles In
Following a rough start, Santa Fe’s offense needed to settle down and control the possession, and they did just that. After Maclay’s third goal, the Raiders scored their first on a man-up play with a bullet of a shot from middie Liam McSwain. The Raider offense continued to settle in throughout the second quarter, aligning in an open set, allowing for easy passing and multiple lengthy possessions. However, these possessions did not lead to points.
Santa Fe had numerous scoring opportunities thanks to precise passing inside, but was unable to find the back of the net for the remainder of the first half. This repeated failure to convert led to fastbreak opportunities for Maclay as they scored twice before halftime to take a 5-1 lead into the break.
Maclay scored quickly to start the third quarter, followed by a rapid response from Santa Fe with a beautiful spin move by Liam McSwain to lose the defender and score the goal. The Raiders scored again late in the third with a man-up goal delivered by senior captain James Smith, cutting the lead to three heading into the final quarter.
Missed Opportunities for Santa Fe Lacrosse
This was the story of the night for Santa Fe. The Raiders had seven man-up situations, but were only able to score on two of them. On the other hand, Maclay had only three man-up situations, but scored twice, and even scored shorthanded on a Santa Fe man-up.
Man-up situations were not the only missed opportunities for the Raiders, with countless quality possessions ending in turnovers or missed shots. Middie James Smith and attackman Landon McNeil continuously dropped dimes to teammates in the center of the field, but more often than not these perfectly placed passes were succeeded by drops or missed shots. Everytime it seemed as though the Raiders had their foot in the door to score a big goal, the door was slammed shut.
The mishaps continued as Santa Fe was unable to score in the fourth quarter, and Maclay added a garbage time goal to come away with the 7-3 victory.
Maclay seemed to be the more experienced team, and showed up prepared to play, seizing their opportunities when they came. Santa Fe played solid all around, but in the end the failure to convert on multiple occasions cost them the game. The defense stood tall when they needed it, but still could not make up for the lack of scoring.
The Raiders will look to bounce back Thursday night as they travel to winless Sandalwood.