Saints lax blanks Walsingham

Published 10:01 pm Wednesday, March 25, 2009

It’s not a good sign when you can fit your school’s varsity lacrosse team inside the type of short bus used for preschool outings. Such was the case for Walsingham Academy on Wednesday when the Trojans visited Nansemond-Suffolk for the teams’ Tidewater Conference opener and chugged away with a 16-0 loss.

The host Saints led by 6-0 after a quarter and 12-0 at halftime before coach Ian Patrick gave the game mostly over to his reserves. Neither Patrick nor his Walsingham counterpart, Randy Duke, put much stock in the score.

NSA had also routed its previous opponent, the Outer Banks club team, but Patrick wasn’t thrilled with his team’s sharpness and was seeking improvement. Walsingham arrived with only four substitutes and used only 12 players in a sport requiring 10 on the field under normal conditions. Needless to say, the Trojans wore down as the game progressed and Duke has a rebuilding job on his hands.

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“We graduated a lot of lacrosse players last year and now we have athletes who are just learning to play the game,” said the visiting coach, whose school has roughly 100 boys in grades 7-12 and also fields golf, tennis, baseball and track teams in the spring. “We’re always challenged for numbers but things are a bit tighter right now.”

Duke said Walsingham, which was playing its season opener, has purposely limited its schedule this season. NSA, which improved to 3-0, hasn’t truly been tested except in a defeat of St. Christopher’s, but Patrick said Wednesday’s effort was crisp enough to satisfy him.

“We just wanted to make sure we moved the ball well and were patient on offense,” said Patrick, whose team hosts the Maury High club team from Norfolk on Friday. “We stopped all three of their man-up situations and we got to run everybody on our team out there.”

Will Crenshaw, Harris Howell and Carter Pearson each had three goals and Sam Rapaport and Tucker Hotte each tallied twice.