Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore Whit Riddick struggles with two St. Christopher’s School defenders during Friday’s game. The NSA Saints never quit, but were out-matched against the large, talented roster of the visiting Saints, ultimately losing 17-2. | Sam Mizelle Photo
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy sophomore Whit Riddick struggles with two St. Christopher’s School defenders during Friday’s game. The NSA Saints never quit, but were out-matched against the large, talented roster of the visiting Saints, ultimately losing 17-2. | Sam Mizelle Photo

St. Christopher swats NSA

Published 7:14pm Saturday, April 6, 2013

The Nansemond-Suffolk Academy boys’ lacrosse team had just climbed to .500 with a blowout win earlier in the week when Friday brought its toughest opponent yet in the form of St. Christopher’s School out of Richmond.

By the end of the first quarter, the NSA team was already down by six goals against the Division I visitors, also known as the Saints, who went on to win 17-2.

“I felt we played hard, but we could have played better, and I think we made too many mistakes to keep up with that team,” NSA head coach Jeff Forman said.

Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior goalkeeper Dan Hotte could not keep the shot from going in on this play during the Saints’ 17-2 loss to visiting St. Christopher’s School out of Richmond on Friday. Enduring the onslaught in the game, Hotte accrued 13 saves.
Nansemond-Suffolk Academy junior goalkeeper Dan Hotte could not keep the shot from going in on this play during the Saints’ 17-2 loss to visiting St. Christopher’s School out of Richmond on Friday. Enduring the onslaught in the game, Hotte accrued 13 saves.

St. Christopher’s out-performed the NSA Saints in the transition game, which Forman said was the biggest reason for the gap on the scoreboard.

“They moved the ball down the field quickly, they passed around quickly, they hit all their passes, and ended up getting shots right on the crease, when our defense really should have fallen down hard down into the middle to pick up those men,” he said.

Aside from the St. Christopher’s players’ abilities, another major factor in the school’s favor was numbers. As a Division I school, their roster consisted of about 30 players, which meant they could send in a fresh line at a moment’s notice.

“We don’t have enough midfielders to run two midfield lines, and they’re running three midfield lines,” Forman said. “So they’re up and down the field, (and) we have the same guys going up and down the field.”

Senior Harris Howell and junior Jacob Edwards both attested to their fatigue after the game.

With a short roster of 19 players, Nansemond-Suffolk was also playing without starting junior Michael Tyler Lepore, who was out with a concussion, and they lost another starter, junior Ian Jackson, toward the beginning of the game.

Despite the overwhelming odds, it was to the NSA Saints’ credit that they broke through offensively and scored both of their goals in the second half.

“What I’ve enjoyed and loved about this team is that they play hard from start to finish, they never give up. Even though they’re down by 10-12 goals, they’re still playing hard,” Forman said. “And they’re still eager to get back on the field and play. They never said die, they just kept playing on and fighting on, even though they’re obviously not going to win the game. And the reason for that is I think the guys really enjoy the sport.”

Edwards put the ball into the goal about midway through the third quarter, and Howell scored near the beginning of the fourth.

Forman noted that Howell’s effort was particularly impressive because of all the hats he wore.

“He had face-offs, and he ran the attack and he also played a fair amount of defensive middie,” Forman said.

Forman also highlighted sophomore David Gough and junior Zach Leitner for solid play, in addition to junior goalkeeper Dan Hotte, who had 13 saves, despite a torrent of shots directed his way.

Realizing this was the best team NSA has played, Forman looks forward to studying the film with his team and using it as a tool for improvement.

NSA (3-4, 0-0) visits Walsingham Academy on Tuesday.

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