The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

The Student News Site of St. Joseph's University

The Hawk News

Duking it out


Lacrosse falls to nationally-ranked Blue Devils

The Saint Joseph’s University men’s lacrosse team squared off against the Duke University Blue Devils on Feb. 26. The Hawks traveled to Durham, North Carolina to take on their third nationally-ranked opponent in the past two weeks.

After dropping to a record of 0-2 following a loss to the University of Pennsylvania, St. Joe’s was looking for their first win of the season against the Blue Devils team ranked 18th in the nation. Unfortunately, the Hawks could not halt their skid, losing by a score of 16-3.

Senior Kevin Reidinger provided the offense for the Hawks in the first half, scoring two goals and bringing his total to a team leading six goals on the season. Reidinger’s efforts proved not to be enough, as the Blue Devils hit St. Joe’s with 12 goals in the first half.

“Unfortunately, as I told the guys, there weren’t many bright spots in this one,” said Head Coach Taylor Wray. “Nothing went very well for us.”

In the second half, junior Patrick O’Brien tallied the Hawks lone goal, while the Blue Devils added another four goals to their already large lead.

Wray  emphasized that the team needed to do a better job of translating what they do on the practice field  to actual in-game situations.

“When we’re under pressure, both because of the opponent and the competitive atmosphere, we haven’t executed and done the things we’ve discussed and practiced doing,” Wray said. “That’s really the biggest takeaway. We need to be able to execute the game plan and the things we’re practicing in the critical moments of the games.”

Although it is a difficult task, Wray said his team enjoys the challenge of playing perennial national powerhouses such as Duke.

“It’s an opportunity to challenge yourself against the best and to find out where you really stand,” Wray said. “We would’ve liked to have played better, that’s the truth. I don’t think we played well. I think that we’re more competitive than we demonstrated in the game.”

Wray added that he thinks at their very best, the Hawks could be competitive with any program in the country.

“In the Maryland and the Penn games there were stretches where we did a good job and we were playing with those guys,” Wray said. “And then there would be a mistake here or there and when you play good teams they really capitalize on your mistakes. For us to beat teams like that we have to play nearly mistake free lacrosse, and we’re just making too many mistakes right now to stay in these games.”

One of the major challenges St. Joe’s faces this season is the loss of senior captain Mike Rastivo in the fall due to injury. In 2016, Rastivo led the Hawks in goals, points, and assists. His presence is sorely missed on the field both as a leader and a player.

“It’s been a collective job to handle not only the playmaking but also the leadership loss,” Wray said. “It has been a challenge, but guys are stepping up a little differently at each position.”

One of the bright spots that have filled the hole left by Rastivo’s injury is Reidinger, who is leading St. Joe’s in goals and points this season.

“Kevin [Reidinger] has been terrific,” Wray said. “He’s been our best offensive player. Kevin is a heck of a competitor, from just watching his approach to practice and the amount of work and time that he’s put in throughout the fall, we knew he was going to have a good year.”   

Wray looked at these past three games as a humbling experience for his team.

“The bottom line is we have a lot of work to do,” he said. “We need to get better from end line to end line in everything that we do,” Wray said. “When you play good teams you learn about yourself and that’s what we’ve done.”

Although Wray was disappointed with the past three games, he sees a very promising future for this team.

“I still feel like we have a great team,” Wray said. “ In the end, we want to win every game on the schedule, but we also want to improve as we go through the schedule so that we’re playing our best lacrosse once we get to league play and towards the tail end of the season.”

Senior captain Charles Guinta mentioned before the season that a great end to the season could make up for any kind of rough start.

“It doesn’t matter how you start, it’s how you finish,” Guinta said. “We’d much rather be in first in May than in February.”

The Hawks will be looking for their first win of the season March 1, as they go on the road to face St. John’s University in Queens, N.Y.

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Hawk News

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. Joseph's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Hawk News

Comments (0)

All The Hawk News Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *