MCPHERSON– Despite less than ideal conditions, the Central Christian College men's lacrosse team played the first ever home game in program history on Friday night. With temps hovering around the freezing mark, winds gusting to 25+ mph, and snow falling, the Tigers (0-3) hosted the Lindenwood-Belleville University Lynx (1-6) at Tiger Field.
The Tigers had only 10 players available for the match, meaning they wouldn't have any substitutes available. With no subs, the strategy for the Tigers was to focus on defense, and then hope to counter attack. It was a good strategy, and the Tiger net minder, Sam Porfilio, had an amazing game between the pipes. He faced 52 shots, 27 of them on goal and he came away with 22 saves on the night.
On the offensive end, the Tigers didn't have a lot of chances. They created 10 shot opportunities, but were only able to put one of those 10 shots on frame. That shot came in the opening period from senior Cole Housh.
Profilio and the Tiger defense were solid all game, keeping the Lynx off the board until late in the second period. The Lynx finally broke through with five minutes and change left before halftime. In the third period, things got chippy between the Tigers and the Lynx. Emotions got the better of a couple of Tiger players, and they were both hit with major penalties. Matthew Taylor was hit with a three minute penalty and ejected, while Greg Awa-Moppert picked up a two minute "locked in" penalty for unsportsmanlike conduct.
The Lynx took advantage of being up two men, and put the ball in the net twice to take a 3-0 lead. After the penalties expired, the Tigers were still faced with the prospect of finishing they game down a man. That made opportunities for shots even harder to come by as they found themselves spending the majority of the remaining time playing in the defensive end. As a result, the Lynx found the back of the net two more times in the final 15 minutes of action, to finish off the Tigers 5-0.
"I am extremely pleased with our defensive play," said first year head coach Virgil Lyon. "Our goaltending was particularly stellar, and we cleared the ball reasonably well, also. We need to work on settling in and playing our game on offense. We also got a lot of penalties today, also. That is very uncharacteristic for us. There are a lot of little things that we need to clean up to make the bigger things start to happen."
The Tigers will be back on the field, next week, hosting the Ottawa University Braves next Friday evening at 7:00 pm.