Photo courtesy of Karen Ambrose Hickey

Boys lacrosse reaches first CCS playoff appearance in school history

After becoming the first Paly boys lacrosse team to qualify for CCS, the team’s season ended with a 16-3 playoff loss to Menlo School on May 11.

Throughout the regular season, the team had its struggles with COVID-19 outbreaks and having to face tougher, private-school opponents from other leagues, senior co-captain Ben Schweitzer said.

“We knew going into it that (Serra and Menlo) would be tough games, but we also knew that there was still a chance we’d win,” Schweitzer said. “We lost a couple key players that would have benefited the team if they had been there. If more of our starters had been there, it definitely would have gone a different way.”

Schweitzer said the season had a lot of ups and downs as the injury bug hit the team and younger, inexperienced players had to fill in.

“It’s definitely been a roller coaster,” Schweitzer said. “In preseason, it was looking really good. And then right off the bat in our first game, we had several injuries and the season dipped down. Coming out of spring break, it went straight back up.”

Senior co-captain Evan Wong said the team has skilled players on both offense and defense, but needed to work on effective communication in order to see better results.

“We have individually really talented players on offense, and we have really athletic guys (who) help on the defense and clears,” Wong said. “Our biggest weakness is teamwork on both offense and defense — our defense doesn’t communicate enough.”

To overcome the team’s struggles, Schweitzer said he has been trying to use his experience as a senior to lead the group.

“As a senior, I definitely tried to take a step and lead the team, being one of the more experienced players and obviously becoming captain,” Schweitzer said. “I’ve tried to work on my individual skills a lot and understand the game as well as possible so I can help those who are just beginning to learn it.”

While the team came up short in its first CCS game, Wong said he is happy to have been a part of this historical season.

“We didn’t end how we wanted to, but we still made history and overall had a great season,” Wong said. “We pushed ourselves to improve the whole season and were rewarded for it.”