|ISU lacrosse season gone with the wind|
|Written by Andrew Rosten, Daily Vidette Senior Staff|
|Monday, 27 April 2009 18:00|
On a windy Sunday at the Gregory Street intramural fields, the Redbird lacrosse team's season came to an end with a 10-9 loss to Missouri in its regular season finale.
Combined with a 17-4 loss to Lindenwood Friday at Hancock Stadium, ISU ended its season with a record of 2-4 in the Great Rivers Lacrosse Conference and 5-5 overall.
"[This season's] been one of those roller-coaster rides," Mike Synek, senior attacker and president, said Sunday. "Our record definitely doesn't show how well we played. We lost a heartbreaker to Purdue; we should have won that game, and we should have won this game. We should have been 4-2 [in the GRLC], but that's the way the cards are dealt. We've got to take it as it is."
Missouri dominated the first half of the crucial Sunday game from its first minute, scoring 54 seconds into the contest. With 10:17 left in the third quarter, the Tigers built their lead to 7-1.
After ISU rallied with a 5-1 scoring run, Missouri took a 9-6 lead with 10:28 left in the fourth quarter via a goal scored on an empty net. Prior to the goal, the ball was forced loose from goalie Emmanuel Nuno behind the net.
Redbird head coach Scott Sylvester, who met with the referees at halftime and told them he did not believe the game was officiated fairly, said Nuno was pushed from behind on the play.
"That was a definite penalty," Sylvester said. "I called timeout to go talk to the ref, and the ref wouldn't give me the time of day. To be honest, I never really like to blame things on officiating, but I thought it was a poorly officiated game."
The Redbirds cut Mizzou's lead to one goal on two separate occasions in the fourth quarter. Senior attacker Timmy Holden cut the Tigers' lead to 9-8 by recording a goal with 5:57 remaining in the game.
After Missouri regained its two-goal lead with 5:15 left, freshman attacker John Berg scored to cut the lead to 10-9 with 1:56 remaining in the game.
"I thought we were going to win," Sylvester said. "I never lost doubt that we would win this game, and I'm still a little stunned that we lost."
Similar to its game against Mizzou, ISU started flatly in the first half against Lindenwood as the Lions took a 13-1 lead into halftime. The Redbirds were outscored 4-3 in the second half.
Nevertheless, Sylvester said he was pleased with his team's second half performance.
"That was a nice thing; our team didn't break down and fall apart," Sylvester said. "It just looked like we didn't come to play [in the first half]."
Holden scored the game's final goal with 1:08 remaining. However, he said, as a result of newcomers on the team, he has recorded more assists than goals this season.
"Last year's team kind of revolved around myself and Synek for scoring," Holden said. "This year, I have the opportunity to share the ball with a lot better athletes and players."
The Redbirds will only lose six out of their 26 players to graduation. Synek said the high number of returning players could lead to good things next year.
"Most of the starters are younger guys, so they'll be able to improve and know what they need to do next year," Synek said.