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Monday, April 26, 2010

Monday Morning Tiger Report - Week 5

Coming on the heels of two wins last Saturday, we headed to Council Bluffs for our first games ever in the River City. At a packed Council Bluffs Sports Complex, the lax field sat alone from the bajillion occupied soccer fields. Although it looked to be about 20 yards too short and 10 yards too narrow with eight inch long grass, the ground was level and firm. Overall the field was smooth and nicer than some of the other grass surfaces we have experienced this season. In fact, the length of the grass combined with the slight give from earlier rain created an almost Field Turf esque surface. Good thing we spent so much time working on ground balls last week...

Game 1 vs River City

15-1 Win

If ever there was a game that went 100% according to the plan, this was it. On the way to CB, the team manager asked for my thoughts on this game. I told him flat out that we should have 12 goals by halftime, but that depending on which version of the Tigers showed up we could be in trouble. Luckily, the boys brought their A-game and racked up 12.

What was entirely unexpected was the first half shut out. Not only did Couch stop everything that was thrown anywhere near him, the defense and middies stepped up to prevent the ball from being in the box to begin with. Over three quarters, Couch only saw five shots - only three of which were on goal. He ended the game with a perfect record.

The second half saw the bench worked in with a number of JV players getting significant minutes. Eight-grade JV goalie Taylor made his varsity debut in the fourth. Taylor only saw three shots, two of which were on net. Although he saved the first, the second was the Black Knights' best of the day - a hard rip from six yards straight to the bottom corner; it would have beaten most varsity goalies.

Face offs were exceptional as well. Starting face off specialist Harrington won 78% on 9 draws. Number two Arends split his two draws. JV captain and face off specialist Goertz won all five of his. The team grabbed 34 ground balls as well.

Game 2 vs Westside

15-10 Win

After last week's rough start, we knew the Warriors would be looking for any signs of weakness. Given our record for going soft following a big win, we were a bit afraid the boys would let Westide into the game. Luckily we once again stuck to the game plan. The game was nowhere near as close as the scoreline suggests.

We came out firing and maintained a strong pace over the course of the game. The defense held fairly tight but allowed the Warriors to take 21 shots at Couch over 3 1/2 quarters. Couch made 11 saves and gave up 5 and D. Griess and Bostwick led the Tigers in goals with 7 and 6, respectively.

The bench starting rotating in early in the third. Taylor entered the game about halfway through the fourth on the heels of a 10 point advantage. Once again the eighth grader looked strong and confident making quality saves. Although five shots got past him, none were soft goals. Definitely not a bad performance for a kid that just started playing lax a couple of months ago.

There were no JV games this week. The league has no games next week due to ACTs and multiple proms. Valley returns to action on May 8 with varsity and JV games against Creighton Prep. The boys are focused on the rematch and understand its importance as we head into the playoffs on May 15.


Over the weekend Prep and Lincoln both faced Blue Valley West from the Kansas League. Prep lost on Saturday 8-6; Lincoln decimated BVW 10-5. Prep also faced Burke on Saturday and left with a 7-5 win (according to West Side Lax). Reports from other coaches claimed a 6-5 victory with Prep coming from behind to pull out a squeaker. Lincoln had no other games this weekend. They face each other Friday night in what is now the most important game of the regular season.

As the regular season winds down, the top four teams are: Lincoln, Prep, Valley, and Millard West. WSL lists them in that order; Lax Power has Valley in first followed by West, Prep, and Lincoln. I would say that WSL is more accurate at the moment considering Lincoln and Prep each have only one loss in league play. As things shake out in the next couple of weeks, the top four should remain consistent with only the specific rankings shuffled.

Millard West should finish the season without another loss, but #6 Burke has the ability to beat anybody and have come close against both Prep and Valley. Lincoln still has a lot of games to play, including Burke and a a couple against #5 Millard North who has been surging as of late. Still, the Rampage's biggest threat is Prep. In addition to Lincoln and Valley, the Bluejays still have a game against Westside, which should be a win. The Tigers only have Prep.

Lincoln- 4/27 Millard North, 4/30 Prep, 5/6 M North, 5/8 River City, 5/8 Burke; should finish 12-1 in league play
Prep- 4/30 Lincoln, 5/8 Valley, 5/8 Westside; should finish 10-3 in league play
Valley- 5/8 Prep; should finish 11-2 in league play
Millard West- 5/4 Burke, 5/6 River City; should finish 11-2 in league play

Tribe 7