Lacrosse travel to Indiana for season finale
The Carnegie Mellon men’s lacrosse team concluded its season with two tough games against the Taylor University Trojans and the Tri-State University Thunder. On Saturday, the Tartans played their last league game against the Trojans in muddy, swamp-like conditions. Similar to the rest of their season, the Tartans struggled to overcome injuries. With only 12 healthy players, Carnegie Mellon was left with only two substitutions and was unable to keep up with the Trojans, losing 9–2. The loss did not stop the Tartans from making the most of the conditions and getting a little mud on their uniforms.
On Sunday, the Tartans played their final game against Tri-State University Thunder, which is a Division III varsity squad. Carnegie Mellon prepared for this weekend's games by focusing on three key components of the game: transition, faceoffs, and communication on defense.
While the varsity Thunder team lived up to its name with a victory against the Tartans 22–4, Carnegie Mellon was happy with the opportunity to play at such a high level. “It was a great experience to see how a team of that caliber plays," sophomore midfielder Nadir Sidi said. "They are a young team and it was a good challenge for us.”
Sunday’s game concluded the Tartans' season, bringing their overall record to 1–8. Still, they are not disappointed with the season and are looking ahead to next year. The team is young and a bit inexperienced, but many players are happy with the improvement throughout the season.
“We got better every day, and so many guys have never played before, so we are happy with how it [the season] ended,” Sidi said.
The coaches are also already focused on next season but admit that this was a challenging season. The past two years, Carnegie Mellon has been ranked as one of the top 25 teams in the nation and had high expectations for the 2007–2008 season.
After a preseason poll, the Tartans were ranked in the top 15 nationally but were unfortunately weakened by injuries. While the losses were frustrating, head coach Anthony Stamatopoulos could see a benefit in the experience.
“It was a challenging situation, but I think we had been too successful too fast in the past, and we needed to learn how to lose," he said. "It really opened our eyes to what it takes to be successful.”
Carnegie Mellon is ready to move on to next season, and the coaches plan on recruiting nationally at camps, high schools, and tournaments while the players will recruit locally on campus.
“We need to build numbers up and get back to where we used to be,” Stamatopoulos said.
Any students interested in joining the team should contact coach Anthony Stamatopoulos at [SLANT 12]firstname.lastname@example.org[SLANT12].