Despite dealing with what coach Mark Forsythe calls a "MASH unit," the Dublin Coffman High School boys lacrosse team isn't using its misfortunes as an excuse.
Senior defender Patrick Ruz could be out for the remainder of the season with a knee injury and senior midfielder Brent Whitehead has a meniscus injury that has him out indefinitely.
Junior midfielder Alex Friedman is out with an injury, while sophomore midfielder Andrew Kraly just returned after being sidelined.
"I've never seen it, and I've never heard of it," senior defender Mark Guzik said of the number of injuries his team has had. "Two of our top four players (Ruz and Whitehead) got hurt. It's emotional, but we've got to keep fighting through it. You've got to play for the other guys on your team."
"Our whole first midline has been hurt, but that's not an excuse," Forsythe said. "We should have been playing better."
The Shamrocks were 7-7 overall entering the week and had lost seven of nine after a 4-0 start, but included in those losses were overtime decisions against St. Charles (8-7 on April 20) and Thomas Worthington (7-6 on April 24). Coffman also lost tight games to Worthington Kilbourne (6-5 on April 11) and Olentangy Liberty (8-6 on May 3).
Coffman played its first game of the Emerald Cup series May 8 at Scioto.
The Shamrocks play host to Jerome on Wednesday, May 15. Jerome beat Scioto 17-0 on April 17 and has won the Cup series between the schools each of the last eight seasons.
A defensive unit that had given up more than 10 goals just three times before May 8 has been keeping Coffman in games, according to junior long-stick midfielder Quinn Armstrong.
"I definitely think our defense is the heart of our team," he said.
Jerome boys win MSLCA B bracket
Jerome didn't let the disappointment of not making the A bracket of the Midwest Scholastic Lacrosse Coaches Association tournament get it down last weekend.
On May 3 at Thomas and May 4 at Kilbourne, the Celtics captured the championship of the four-team MSLCA B bracket to improve to 9-4 overall entering their OCC-Buckeye Division game May 8 against Hilliard Davidson.
Jerome beat Pittsburgh Shady Side Academy 9-3 on May 3 and got a goal one minute into overtime by junior attacker Mikey Bano to beat Mount Lebanon (Pa.) Academy 12-11 on May 4.
Senior defender Matt Isele and Bano both made first-team all-MSLCA.
"I was really proud of our guys," coach A.J. Auld said. "Obviously every year we're working to be in the A bracket and win the A bracket, but this year when we found out we were in the B bracket we had to make the best of it. We played two teams we didn't know a lot about, two very good teams."
Jerome plays Cincinnati St. Xavier on Saturday, May 11. The Celtics were sixth in last week's laxpower.com state rankings and St. Xavier was eighth.
Jerome, which also is first in the 12-team Division I Northwest Region rankings by laxpower.com, will compete in the North American Invitational on May 17 and 18 at Bloomfield Hills (Mich.) Brother Rice.
Scioto boys getting better offensively
Scioto lost both of its games in the open bracket of the MSLCA tournament and was 1-12 before playing Coffman on May 8.
The Irish lost to Pittsburgh Sewickley Academy 14-5 on May 3 at Thomas and fell 18-6 to Birmingham (Mich.) Seaholm 18-6 on May 4.
According to first-year coach Drew Sraver, Scioto has been improving on offense.
"We're growing," he said. "Offensively we're being led by freshmen, which is nice for the future."
Freshman attacker Nate Mielke scored three goals against Seaholm.
Freshmen Wills Hutras (midfielder) and Joe Wallace (defender) and junior midfielder Jackson Heigel each made honorable mention all-MSLCA.
Junior defender Jack Flood, who is one of the team's most experienced players, has been out with an injury. Sraver was hoping he would return for the Coffman game.