Junior Skovran Cunningham catches the ball in his stick while playing against the Casa Roble Rams, April 21. Freshman Aidan Cunningham runs to support him. Country Day lost the game, 11-10. (Photo by Kamira Patel)
The lacrosse team finished the season without registering a win.
Head coach Brooke Wells said that the growing number of losses is because the team doesn’t play in an organized league, which means that they mainly play against schools willing to host them at their own fields.
As a result, the schools that host are usually well-developed teams that are confident that they can match up favorably against Country Day, he said.
However, this is only one of the problems the team faces.
Since they do not compete in a structured league, they play the varsity teams from schools with populations of up to 5,000 students, Wells said.
For instance, Saint Mary’s High School, in Stockton, whom they faced on March 20, fielded a team comprised of 16 seniors and eight underclassmen.
The final score was 5-19.
“Our team of eight held with them, but it was like facing the Russians during World War II,” Wells said.
“There was line after line after line of very strong players.”
Sophomore Brad Petchauer and junior Alex Bushberg had an additional explanation for the tough season.
Petchauer, a two-year veteran and left-side defenseman, said that when star player Donald Hutchinson, ‘13, graduated, it changed the team dynamic.
“We no longer had (Hutchinson) to carry the team to our victories,” Petchauer said.
Bushberg, third-year veteran and new defenseman, agreed.
Although the team has struggled to gain a win, Wells said that many aspects of the game have improved since the beginning of the season.
During the game against Saint Mary’s, the boys stayed in the game because of a change in defensive tactics during the second half, he said.
The team implemented a new strategy, called an attacking zone, where the defensemen stayed close to the opponent’s side of the field.
The change was due to only eight players being on the field during the game.
Wells said that since this strategy was particularly effective, even with only eight players on the field instead of the normal 10, they will continue to use it.
This was not the only improvement during the season.
Individual defensive skills and team passing have improved the most, Wells said.
“The less-experienced players need to continue to work on getting groundballs, catching and shooting, but they are improving,” Wells said.
“A couple of our new or inexperienced players have really stepped it up this year, which you can see when we are at the games,” Bushberg said.
“They have developed better stick skills, and they are now able to beat their opponents when they are racing to get a ball.”