The 2012 season the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association’s Box Lacrosse League came to a close last night. This year’s championship pitted a relative newcomer against a familiar face. We will take a quick look at how they got there before diving into last night’s action.
For the fourth consecutive year, the Cyclones finished the season with a perfect record.
The Macaques, a combination of Cyclones alumni and last year’s Dragons, had a less impeccable record. All three of their losses came at the hands of the Cyclones. They tied their first game against the Tropics and won their second.
The third game was originally scheduled for next week, but was scrapped due to the Tropics’ decision to forfeit a second game against the Cyclones which eliminated them from contention and nullified the remaining games.
Singha stumbled out of the race sometime around Thanksgiving without finding a victory; but we kept plugging away in the hope of being a spoiler.
Yesterday I expressed my hope for a close game. I was not disappointed. Both teams made solid transitions from offense to defense. Checks were well timed and effective. Slides hit at key moments. Ball movement was crisp and fluid on both sides of the field. Couch made quite a few saves, but Hanks made more. Seven minutes lapsed before the first goal was scored.
The Cyclones followed their opener with a second a couple of minutes later. When their third skirted past Hanks on a tight angle deflection, a feeling of dread seemed to emerge from a few Macaques. The lifted when Blay and Woodcock put together a nice combination to score in the final minute of the first period.
A pair of goals early in the second period increased the pressure on the Macaques. Now down by four, they dug deep and put in another teamwork goal. This was answered almost immediately by the Cyclones. When the Macaques netted a man-up tally later in the period, the Cyclones followed suit.
Heading into the third period, the game had the makings of a blowout. Up by four, the Cyclones were in complete control and showed every sign of putting the game away cleanly. Woodcock and co wanted no part of it. Once again the Macaques utilized great ball movement to pull within three. Energized by the tally, the defense went to task. Checks and slides were spot on for most of the third, sparing Hanks the multitude of shots he faced a week ago. But the Cyclones assessed the situation and demonstrated extreme patience. Their ball control and passing was cautious, eventually leading to a well deserved goal. With less than five minutes remaining in regulation and four goals separating the teams, the Macaques dug deep. Going full bore on both sides of the field, the Macaques intercepted passes and prevented quality shots from being taken. Bartlett snagged a looper and ran it down for an unassisted goal.
Unfortunately for the Macaques, time was not on their side. Despite getting a couple more quality looks and denying the Cyclones opportunities of their own, they failed to put another ball away. This intense battle ended 75 minutes after it started with 3 goals separating the teams. With a final score of 8 to 5, the Cyclones won their fourth consecutive Box Lacrosse League championship and hoisted the Burk in a post game celebration.
End of Period 1: Cyclones 3 – Macaques 1
End of Period 2: Cyclones 7 – Macaques 3
End of Period 3: Cyclones 8 – Macaques 5
Blay was kind enough to bring his camera last night, which was a good thing as mine died before the game (possibly time for a new battery…). Once I get the photos from him, I will either add a couple here with a link to the full gallery, make a photo post, or both.
Upcoming Box Lacrosse
Thursday, January 31 Pickup game at the Soccer House 9:00-10:30 pm
Thursday, February 7 Pickup game at the Soccer House 9:00-10:30 pm
Macaques captains David Woodcock and Nick Blay shared their plans for an adult league this summer. Blay and Woodcock have volunteered to run the league due to my schedule being consumed by youth lacrosse. More information will be released in the coming months as we hammer out which nights the adult and youth leagues will operate to prevent overlaps.