Tonight marks the end of the Central Iowa Lacrosse Association 2011-12 Box Lacrosse League’s regular season. Although the playoff pairings are already determined, tonight’s games present three teams with an opportunity to build momentum. For the fourth team, tonight is a chance to end their poor season on a high note.
Game 1 – Dragons vs Tigers
What better way to end the regular season than to replay the league’s first game? Despite having a strong advantage in the numbers department, the Tigers managed only a single goal. The Dragons collective advantage in both size and experience allowed them to quickly overpower the Tigers en route to a decisive 13-1 victory.
Since then the Tigers have noticeably improved, yet have failed to win – or even come close to winning – a single game. Given that all but a couple of the players had little to no lax experience at the beginning of the season, the advances the team made over the course of the season are remarkable. If the team started the season at the point they are now at, then the Tigers may have been more competitive. Tonight’s game should be interesting.
Meanwhile, the Dragons have suffered from the attendance issues that seem to follow Blay across various CILA leagues. Even with a perpetually shortened bench, the Dragons have managed to contend against both the Aces and Bulldogs. Poor luck pitted the team against the Cyclones twice, which hurt their overall goal differential. Still, their first period performance last week provided a glimpse of the team’s potential. It would be interesting to see how this team performs with a full bench…
Game 2 – Bulldogs vs Aces
When these teams met earlier this season, the Aces walked away with a four goal victory. Both teams entered the season with the Cyclones as their number one target. Both teams had their shot to defeat the Cyclones over the course of the season (technically the Bulldogs had two opportunities, but forfeited their mid-December game due to finals).
When they met the Cyclones in the first week, the Bulldogs were shut out and allowed 12. Their week three meeting with the Aces was a much closer affair; only four goals separated the teams. In between, the Bulldogs narrowly defeated the Dragons by a pair. By all measures, the Bulldogs are a mid-level team in this league.
The Aces bout with the Cyclones resulted in a five goal loss, but they were missing a few key players. Absences also played into their week five meeting with the Dragons. Still, the Cyclones are the Aces’ only loss this season.
Ultimately, tonight’s game will be used to make a statement about next week’s semi-final. The winning team will ride the momentum, but the losing team will have something to build upon…