First playoff trip ends quickly for Mount Si lacrosse team

May 17, 2012

By Sebastian Moraga

UPDATED: 12:44 p.m. May 17.

It was like watching a baby taking three steps before falling on his rump: The trip was short, the end painful, but you know this amazing journey is just the beginning.

The Mount Si Lacrosse team lost, 7-3, to the Three Rivers Coyotes from Richland in the Wildcat squad’s first playoff game in its three-year history.

Still, nobody’s head hung low after the game. A playoff game at home in front of a big crowd was the stuff dreams were made of two years ago, when the team closed its first season with no wins.

Now it was a reality.

“It’s one of the larger crowds we’ve seen anywhere other than football,” Wildcats’ lacrosse head coach Woodroe Kiser said. “This is not just parents, this is everybody.”

The team, he added, will return to the playoffs in 2013.

“Things are looking great for next year,” Kiser said. “All but three players are returning, and we had a strong J.V. season this year. The players will be fired up next year, ready to roll.”

This year, four players earned all-conference honors: Andrew Bottemiller, Matt Mahrer, Cameron Pike and Tyler Smith .

The loss to the Coyotes will serve as a learning experience for the Wildcats, said Kiser, whose team looked “a little flat” at the start of the game. The Coyotes came out strong and sought to take advantage of the hosts’ greenness.

The Coyotes scored four unanswered goals in the first quarter before Bottemiller scored for Mount Si. At the start of the second quarter, Three Rivers scored twice more before the halftime break.

Freshman defender Smith said the team’s youth factored in to its slow start.

“It’s the first time in our history,” he said. “We obviously felt a lot of pressure. We’re growing as a team but we probably needed more time to prepare.”

Kiser said he told his troops to make a game of it in the second half.

“I told the team at halftime, ‘I need to see your heart. I haven’t seen it yet and I know you have it,’” he said.

The team showed its heart by competing more in the second half. The Coyotes’ physical style of play prevailed, but the game did not turn into the laugher some feared at the start.

Blake Moorhead scored the second tally for the Wildcats. The Coyotes scored once more before Mount Si’s Smith added a little suspense with only a handful of minutes to go in the fourth quarter.

Smith celebrated his goal by jumping and waving his arms. It looked a little strange with the team still down four goals, but Smith had his reasons.

“Last year in middle school, I was scoring a lot with the defensive stick,” he said. “This year is my first goal with a d-stick, and it happened in the playoffs, too. Pretty great feeling.”

When the horn signaling the end of the game sounded, nobody smiled. A loss is a loss, after all. This one felt different, though. Like the start of something good rather than a definitive judgment on what this team can and will accomplish. This baby will get back up, and who knows, maybe next time, he will just keep on walking.

“We’re still growing, this is our first year” in the playoffs, the Wildcats’ Sal Francisco said. “We’ll take it next year.”



Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or Comment at

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