Lacrosse no laughable matter at St. Thomas Academy

  • Article by: AARON PAITICH , Special to the Star Tribune
  • Updated: May 4, 2013 - 4:58 PM

The Cadets’ lacrosse team is 6-0 after being ridiculed online in preseason. The harsh jabs inspired the players.

hide

J.R. Riley (28), a physical force on defense, battled an opponent in front of Cadets goalie Chase Bockstruck, who also has played well. Behind the net is Joe Weichert.

Photo: Jennifer Weichert • Special to the Star Tribune ,

CameraStar Tribune photo galleries

Cameraview larger

 

Sometimes a little bulletin-board material can go a long way. St. Thomas Academy lacrosse certainly is capitalizing on some preseason online chatter.

“People on the website forums were saying our team was laughable and that we only have a couple players,” senior midfielder Benny Williams. “I think we have a chip on our shoulder.”

Are the critics still laughing? It’s still early in the season, but the Cadets haven’t given them any credence. That’s what a 6-0 start through Tuesday’s victory over Rochester Mayo will do.

And it’s only fueled St. Thomas Academy’s desire.

“With each step we take, we think about being laughable at the beginning of the season,” Williams said. “Look where we are now. That was definitely something that got us pretty riled up going into the season.”

The competition would be wise not to rile the Cadets’ defensive corps. Especially 6-3, 230-pound junior J.R. Riley, who was named a Star Tribune “player to watch’’ this preseason. He hasn’t disappointed.

“He’s our enforcer — a really intimidating dude,” Williams said of Riley. “Nobody wants to mess with him.”

Team defense is a definite strength for the Cadets, who have three stalwarts who make it difficult for opposing offenses to generate scoring opportunities.

Senior Joe Weichert and junior Grant Oncay are both physical, fundamentally strong players with good stick work.

“They are all dominant forces back there,” Williams said. “They’re all lockdown defenders. Tough to get by.”

If they do get chances, Chase Bockstruck is waiting in goal. The senior has been nothing short of spectacular.

“He’s a gamer,” Williams said of his netminder. “He knows how to stop the ball. He puts his game face on.”

The Cadets also have taken care of business offensively. Williams notched seven goals and eight assists through the first five games while winning about 80 percent of his faceoffs. Attacker Will Dahl scored two goals and four assists in the season opener. The midfielders are fearless, not relying much on finesse.

“If a defenseman shuts us down on one dodge, we’re going right back at him the next time,” Williams said. “I just think that’s our whole offense’s mentality. We like to push the ball and put it in the net.”

The team has bought in. The coaching staff knows this group has to play as one. That’s the team philosophy.

“STA lacrosse focuses on becoming a family with one goal. That goal is to have fun and play together,” head coach John Barnes said. “A mix of seniors, juniors, sophomores and freshmen learning to play and fight together one game at a time.”

That group will compete this season knowing that the Minnesota State High School League has added four sections, which means eight teams, not four, will reach the state tournament.

“We definitely have high hopes going into the playoffs,” Williams said. “Hopefully we can get a good run going and get further than any other team in our school’s history has gotten.”

  • get related content delivered to your inbox

  • manage my email subscriptions

ADVERTISEMENT

Atlanta - WP: A. Harang 11 FINAL
Pittsburgh - LP: F. Liriano 3
Houston - WP: J. Fields 7 FINAL
NY Yankees - LP: D. Robertson 4
Seattle - WP: H. Iwakuma 5 FINAL
Philadelphia - LP: A. Burnett 2
Arizona - LP: C. Anderson 1 FINAL
Washington - WP: S. Strasburg 8
LA Angels - WP: J. Smith 4 FINAL
Boston - LP: K. Uehara 3
Detroit - WP: J. Johnson 8 FINAL
Tampa Bay - LP: G. Balfour 6
Texas - LP: N. Cotts 3 FINAL
Miami - WP: S. Dyson 4
San Francisco - LP: R. Vogelsong 0 FINAL
Chicago Cubs - WP: T. Wada 2
Baltimore - WP: C. Tillman 5 FINAL
Chicago WSox - LP: J. Quintana 1
Cleveland - WP: K. Crockett 7 FINAL
Minnesota - LP: B. Duensing 5
Toronto - LP: J. Happ 1 FINAL
Milwaukee - WP: M. Fiers 6
Cincinnati - LP: J. Hoover 4 FINAL
St. Louis - WP: P. Neshek 5
Kansas City - WP: J. Shields 7 FINAL
Colorado - LP: T. Matzek 4
NY Mets - LP: D. Gee 2 FINAL
Oakland - WP: S. Kazmir 6
San Diego - LP: I. Kennedy 6 FINAL
Los Angeles - WP: K. Correia 8
Pittsburgh 8/21/14 6:30 PM
Philadelphia
Carolina 8/22/14 6:30 PM
New England
NY Giants 8/22/14 6:30 PM
NY Jets
Jacksonville 8/22/14 6:30 PM
Detroit
Oakland 8/22/14 7:00 PM
Green Bay
Chicago 8/22/14 9:00 PM
Seattle
Tampa Bay 8/23/14 3:30 PM
Buffalo
Tennessee 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Atlanta
Dallas 8/23/14 6:00 PM
Miami
Washington 8/23/14 6:30 PM
Baltimore
New Orleans 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Indianapolis
Minnesota 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Kansas City
St. Louis 8/23/14 7:00 PM
Cleveland
Houston 8/23/14 8:00 PM
Denver
San Diego 8/24/14 3:00 PM
San Francisco
Cincinnati 8/24/14 7:00 PM
Arizona
Montreal 8/22/14 7:30 PM
Winnipeg
Toronto 8/23/14 3:00 PM
Edmonton
Calgary 8/24/14 2:00 PM
Ottawa
Saskatchewan 8/24/14 6:00 PM
Brt Columbia

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

question of the day

Poll: Who would you rather have on your team?

Weekly Question

ADVERTISEMENT

Connect with twitterConnect with facebookConnect with Google+Connect with PinterestConnect with PinterestConnect with RssfeedConnect with email newsletters

ADVERTISEMENT

 
Close