Mother Nature was trying to get in the way at Brock Homecoming. All day Saturday the rain came and went, but it wasn’t until the final two minutes and 38 seconds of the Brock Badgers versus Laurentian Voyageurs men’s lacrosse game that the rain would win. As soon as there was a flash of lightning the referees decided to end the game. At the time, the Badgers had a 13-7 lead.
For the most part during this game it seemed the rain would cooperate as the first half was mostly dry, but as soon as the game went to halftime it began to rain very hard. Then when the teams were ready to return to the field for the second half the rain stopped.
The rain couldn’t stop the Badgers as their offense broke through in the second half with seven of their 13 goals.
The Voyageurs goalie Ian Walters was the star of the first quarter in this game, as he stopped multiple Badger chances. One of which came in the first minute when the Badgers pounced on a turnover, but Walter’s got in front. Two big saves in the opening four minutes helped the Voyageurs score three minutes and 58 seconds into the game.
The teams would tie 2-2 after the first quarter, with Nick Rybka and Brandon Slade scoring for the Badgers. Rybka would finish with a hat trick as he added two goals in the second half. Slade would lead the Badgers with six points, two goals and four assists.
The Badgers would take a 6-4 lead at halftime, as Brandon Staal and Kyle Pedwell scored two goals each. In the third the Badgers added to their lead as they scored three more.
Brock would hold Laurentian to one goal in the fourth quarter, while adding four of their own. Staal would finish the game with three goals and two assists, Nico Beaudoin assisted on four goals, Pedwell scored three for the game and Matt Bourassa had two goals.
“We knew it would be a hard first quarter,” said Brock head coach Justin Kennedy after the game. “I think we need to show a little bit more composure, character and discipline. Overall we are going in the right direction.”
The Badgers have now won 11 of their last 12 games versus the Voyageurs. Their lone loss came last season, in an early season contest.
“[Laurentian] is an up and coming program,” said Kennedy. “Last year they made their first walk into the playoffs, so you can’t take anyone for granted anymore, which is a good thing for the league.”
Kennedy was happy with his team’s performance in the second half, as some of the younger Badgers needed some time to get their feet wet during their first Homecoming.
“With Homecoming the emotions run high and we got some young guys out there so it’s always good for everyone to get a feel of it,” said Kennedy. “At halftime we talked emotions, playing 80 minutes of lacrosse, running the proper systems and what great things can happen when you don’t care who gets credit.”
Kennedy also mentioned that the team will look at ways to concentrate a little bit more on being game ready, game readiness drills, warm-ups and whatever else they can control on having better starts to their games.
The coach also referred to their first game of the season versus Western as a slow start, saying both times the Badgers could have improved in the first 20 minutes.
The Badgers’ improvement came this past Sunday as they travelled to Guelph. It was an offensive outburst for the Badgers as they scored 16 goals leading to a 16-6 win over the Gryphons.
The 3-0 record for the Badgers puts them in a tie with Western for most wins in the CUFLA West division.
Brock men’s lacrosse has only started a season with four consecutive wins once in the last four seasons. They’ll look to make it twice in five seasons, but it won’t be easy as they travel to London to play the Western Mustangs this coming Thursday. The Badgers and Mustangs are arguably the top two teams in the west division. The Badgers will also play Toronto on Friday and Laurentian again on Sunday — all games are on the road.