Opening the season against Springside Chestnut Hill Academy (Pa.) and playing its first game under new head coach M.V. Whitlow, the Hun School boys’ lacrosse team showed a stingy defense at the outset.
Hun held the Blue Devils to three goals in the first half of the March 28 contest.
New coach Whitlow liked the intensity his team displayed from the opening whistle.
“I thought that we came out strong; we came out focused,” said Whitlow, a former assistant coach at Lawrenceville who is replacing Don Green at the helm of the program after he guided Hun to a 7-11 record in 2012. “We came out matching tempo.”
But Hun couldn’t develop a tempo at the offensive end of the field and found itself trailing 3-1 at halftime.
We hit a couple of pipes in the first quarter, which made a big difference in the game,” said Whitlow. “Shooting has been an emphasis for us; it is a good thing to know that we got the looks. We have just got to execute a little better.”
Things got away from the Raiders in the second half as the Blue devils started the half with a 4-0 run and never looked back from the on the way to an 11-3 win.
“The first five minutes of the third quarter made the difference, it was 3-1 at half and then it was 7-1,” said Whitlow. “That changes the complexion of the game, it flips the switch for us.”
While Whitlow was disappointed with the loss, he saw it as a valuable learning experience.
“I knew these guys were tough and they were going to come to play,” said Whitlow.
“I think with a young team, the challenge is always putting four quarters together. That’s my job as a coach to figure out how to get them to put four quarters together.”
Hun had some players who were up to the challenge in the opener. “I thought Owen Black played very well, it is his first game as a freshman, he had a strong game,” said Whitlow, who got goals from Phil Gursahaney, Owen Black, and Matteo Favalaro.
“I thought Greg Flood was clearly a presence on defense. I think Cam Dudeck played a good game against their top attacker. I think Zach Bicho did well, it is a different game if he doesn’t get as many face-offs as he did.”
Whitlow is confident his team will make its presence felt as the spring unfolds.
“They have worked real hard, I don’t think that score is indicative of the statistics of that game,” said Whitlow, whose team hosts Academy of New Church (Pa.) on April 4 before playing at Blair Academy on April 6 and Delaware Valley High on April 9.
“I think if you look at the shots, they were pretty even. It came down to us hitting some posts in the first half and that stretch in the third quarter. These guys will stay focused; they are great kids. They will come out and practice hard on Monday.”