By Jacob Rivas
On March 10, the Tustin Lacrosse team had their first home game against Linfield. Before the game, Coach Johnson said, “ I’m really excited about the program and we were headed, we have been working hard to reshape the program, it’s been a lot of work but it’s been a lot of fun, I enjoy the sport and there’s a lot of great young men out there for the sport so its been a lot of fun.” Regarding the game that day, Johnson exclaimed, “today’s game schedule is gonna be a reserve game so some of our guys that don’t start will be getting a lot of playing time today, so I’m excited for the game. Whenever there is a competition I’m always wanting to win so I’m excited for that, we’re gonna see how our back up guys do under real life pressure. I think they will be fine and I’m excited for the game. I think we’re ready; we’re always trying to get better. I think every coach says that about every team, we’re trying to get better and today is part of that process so ready? I don’t know. We’re going to find out.”
Regarding Johnson’s coaching transition he indicates that, “For me the sport of Lacrosse is new but coaching is not, I’ve been as a player and a coach a part of a lot of championship teams and so transitioning to a different sport is difficult. A lot of the same principles apply. A lot of the same philosophies apply. I’m trying to bring those with me to a new sport and tryying to help the Lacrosse program really thrive. Because of those items we’re really intending to lift weights hard, for instance we’re really working hard on our strength and conditioning, those sorts of things that matter no matter what the sport is and I enjoy coaching so it’s another opportunity for me to interact with student athletes; it’s been a good transition.”
The game fired up and during the first quarter Linfield rushed and scored within the first twenty seconds of the game. Linfield made another score five minutes and 20 seconds into the first quarter and another score seven minutes into the game. Though our Tillers were being rushed, number 32 had great offence by taking the ball and rushing back on the other team.
Second quarter came around and when it did Linfield rushed with brute force and scored three more times in the first couple minutes of the second quarter. Fernando Islas showed that they still stood a chance and ran for it making the first score for Tustin during the last minute of the second quarter.
When the third quarter began our Tillers were no longer taking it. Fernando scored when the timer was at 7:20 and Matt Gaddis scored with four minutes and ten seconds on the clock. At that same time, number 9 decided to step it up too and rushed with great offense. Sadly, the ball was taken from him and Linfield scored in the last minute of the game.
Fourth quarter started and our Tillers were not going down without a fight. Player Matt Gaddis scored when the timer was at 8:55, and Brad Wilson displayed greater offence than he did third quarter, and scored 20 seconds after Matt Gaddis scored. Time was running out but sadly Linfield scored in the last three minutes of the game making it a loss for our Tillers of 5-8.
After the game, Coach Johnson said, ” I thought we were very competitive. I’m pleased with that. We have a lot that we need work on. We need to work on getting better and today was evidence of that and we will be back at practice working on what we learned today.” The next home game for lacrosse is against Vista Murrieta on March 25. Good luck Tillers.