The Bulldogs varsity and JV lacrosse teams both ran out of gas against bigger teams from Cal High.
The Cal High Grizzlies had 107 kids try out for their school's lacrosse teams this season compared with 50 for the Dogs.This proved to be a factor in the games against the Bulldogs.
Both games were close in the first half of the contest, but the second half proved to be too much for the much smaller Bulldogs squads.
The JV game was close at half time with a score of 3-0 in favor of the Grizzlies. The Dogs did their best to stay in the game, but the larger squad from Cal was too much for them. The final score was 7-0 for the Grizzlies JV team.
The team leaders for the JV Dogs were Daniel Aitken, who led the offense with eight shots on goal, and Garret George, with four ground ball pickups.
Leading the defense was sophomore goalie Zach Koerber, who is playing his first full season of lacrosse. He recorded 10 saves on 17 shots on goal. That's a better than 50 percent average. Not bad for a rookie.
The varsity squad played the Grizzlies right after the JV game and it also was a close contest in the first half. The Bulldogs scored the first goal of the game with middie Vincent Martinez scoring on a assist from attackman Nickolas Farjardo. Once again the offense had to put together a new group of offensive players as injuries and illness took out some of the regular players. The Dogs' varsity squad could only muster 20 players against a squad of Grizzlies that numbered 40 players.
The score was 4-1 in favor of the Grizzlies at half time, but the Dogs were biting at their heels. In the third quarter, the Dogs caught a break when the Grizzlies were assessed two penalties for coming out late after half time was over and unsportsmanlike conduct from the coach for arguing the penalty call. This put the Grizzlies two men down to start the second half of play. This played well for the Dogs, who took several shots on goal but were unable to take advantage. As the game progressed, the larger squad from Cal wore down the Dogs' defensive unit and won the game 9-1.
Both teams registered more than 10 minutes in penalties, indicating just how hard the game was played by the two teams. A large number of penalties has been a negative factor for this season's Bulldog team. But they refuse to be pushed around. Two players from the Dogs suffered minor head injuries during the game and two players from the Grizzlies team were ejected for unsportsmanlike conduct fouls and will miss the next scheduled game.
It needs to be noted that last year's contest between these two teams was a 16-2 loss for the Dogs. The halftime score in that game was 14-0 for the Grizzlies. Last season's team was able to play on par with the Grizzlies in the second half and held the potent offense from Cal to only two more goals during the rest of the game, scoring two for themselves as well. That effort was not expected by the Grizzlies and they had two players ejected in that contest also.
This season's team held the potent Cal offense, which has a chance to go to the NCS playoffs this season, to fewer than 10 goals and the halftime score was much closer than last season's game.
Despite this season's loss, the end result was a much better showing. The Bulldogs are gaining ground in their skills and knowledge of lacrosse. No loss feels good, but the Dogs once again are improving in all areas of the game.
The JV and Varsity squads travel to Northgate High School and play the Broncos, starting at 7 p.m. It will be the first night game for the Dogs at Northgate's new all-weather field with stadium lights.
The Bulldogs' first home game is on Friday at Knowles Field, where they will face the Berean Christian Eagles, beginning at 7 p.m.