We left West Des Moines at 6:00 am. We drove three hours to get to the games. Not an excuse.
The Tigers' first game started at 10:00 am. We got to the field at little after 9:00 and tried to get the guys warming up as much as possible. Since there was already a game in progress, it was kind of tough. Not an excuse.
Last year's only loss came during the UNL tournament in Lincoln, at the Vine Fields on the Nebraska campus. Yesterday's games were on another field at the Nebraska campus. Last year's game was at 10:00 am; yesterday's game was at 10:00 am. Not an excuse.
With no disrespect to the Rampage, we beat ourselves. Simply, we did not show up ready to play. Lincoln, knowing about our upset win over Millard West last week, were ready to take us down. Having lost to West already this season, the Rampage saw a win over Valley as their statement game. Unfortunately we supplied them the paper and pen to make that statement. After going up by two goals early, Valley hit the cruise control to let the Rampage score three unanswered goals. Lincoln led by a goal at halftime.
Despite a wake up call during the break, the Tigers still played sloppy and lazy lacrosse. Once again midfield Dylan Griess answered the call and led both teams in scoring with five goals. In the end it was not enough as the Tigers gave up a goal with 26 seconds left to lost 7-6. West Side Lax has a complete write up.
The second game of the day was against a struggling Papillion-La Vista team. The Monarchs came into the game winless and the trend held as Valley won 8-1. Papio's goalie looked strong in net and kept the game relatively close. With a bit more back line support and improved firepower upfront, the Monarchs could be a force to reckon with.
Valley was not the only team to beat itself this weekend. Michigan, the most dominant program in the MCLA, lost to 2-5 Colorado over the weekend. Coming in with back-to-back national championships and a 49 game winning streak stretching back to 2008, the Wolverines were the hands down favorites in the MCLA. Colorado has been struggling all year and fired their head coach last week.
With an interim coach, nobody expected anything from the Buffaloes - especially not Michigan. There is no doubt that the win was monumental for Colorado. Still, it should have little negative impact on the Wolverines over the course of the season.
I mention the Michigan loss because it mirrors Valley's loss yesterday. Both are cases of a top ranked team with a potent offense and solid defense that did not show up to play. Individual efforts aside, both teams failed to respect their opponents by assuming that they would just walk out with a win. Coach Paul sums it up best:
“We were flat all day and in warm-ups. We’re telling the guys right up to the start that they were about to get punched in the mouth.”This weekend the Tigers travel to Omaha to face division opponents Burke (11 am) and Westside (1pm) at Creighton Prep. The JV faces Prep (3 pm) and Burke (5 pm).