The East Ridge boys' lacrosse team got a start on its competitive schedule for the first time under a new coaching staff on Tuesday.
While the game ended in a 12-7 loss to Farmington, it could provide some valuable lessons for the team's progression this spring.
East Ridge was able to come back from an early deficit to tie the game at 4-4 in the second quarter, but Farmington scored three of the next four goals to take a 7-5 lead into halftime. From there the Tigers continued to pull away in the second half.
Penalties hurt the Raptors on Tuesday as they gave Farmington opportunities to run their offense with more players on the field.
"It wasn't how we wanted, but it's a new system," midfielder Joey Arndt said about the season opener. "We've just got to get into our offense more. Slow the ball down and get into the offense. I believe our offense has a lot of potential, we've just got to stay out of the penalty box and we'll be good."
While the game ended up being a loss, the players were quick to put it behind them and focus on improvement.
"Trailing the whole game, I didn't see that as a problem," goalie Peyton Bixby said. "Our energy was good, and I thought our team looked good. We just need to clean up a few things."
David Griffith, Jack Mohler and Grant Woodward each scored two goals for the Raptors on Tuesday to lead the offense.
Tuesday's game was the first opportunity for East Ridge to see its new systems at game speed. Many of those plays still need a bit more work.
"The offensive sets, the defensive schemes, the clear, the ride. Everything is new for these guys, and this was the first chance we've had to do it live," head coach Steve Van Sloun said.
The Raptors will next have Thursday's road game against Simley to put Tuesday's loss behind them. While some of the fixes include learning new systems, Van Sloun also hopes to see his players work harder to pick up loose balls and give themselves more chances to run their offense.
"It's tough to play offense if you don't win the loose balls," Van Sloun said. "There are a few things in the game that determine who gets more possessions, one is winning ground balls and the second is winning faceoffs. We lost that battle pretty handily both ways today."