GREENBURGH, N.Y. – The Edgemont High School boys lacrosse team had just blown an early 2-0 lead to the Dobbs Ferry Eagles and lost the game, 11-6.
With the loss Monday, the Panthers dropped four of their last seven games and fell to 9-5 on the year. But coach Mark Gryzlo’s postgame speech consisted only of positive words and encouragement for his players.
He pointed out that the Panthers’ early 2-0 lead against one of the best teams in Section 1 proved that Edgemont can hang with the powerhouses. He looked forward rather than backward and emphasized that his team needed to put in three strong days of practice and finish the season with momentum going into the rapidly approaching playoffs.
“That’s vital for us,” Gryzlo said. “We need to be playing our best lacrosse going into the playoffs. We played a really good first quarter but we didn’t play four complete quarters here against a really tough Dobbs Ferry team that hopefully we’ll get another crack at in the playoffs if we can.”
Edgemont started the season 6-1 but has fallen on hard times lately. Two of the team’s losses in this recent stretch have been against the Eagles, but Gryzlo said a game against Dobbs Ferry this late in this season, regardless of the result, can only benefit his team.
“It definitely helps out knowing that they’re a hard opponent and that these are the type of teams that we’re going to see in the playoffs,” Gryzlo said. “So it’s a good wake-up call to get our act together and really tighten up our game.”
The coach mentioned ball movement, extra passes and communication on defense, particularly from the goalie calling out from behind the cage, as strengths of the team.
As for what needs to improve, Gryzlo said fundamentals, including picking up ground balls and passing, will be an area of focus for the team going forward. He pointed to a six-minute stretch in Monday’s game in which Murphy’s Law came into play as a teaching point for the Panthers.
“Everything that could go wrong, (did) go wrong,” Gryzlo said. “(The ball) bounced off a kid’s leg right into their stick right in front of the net. All those things that happen to every team in every game happened to us all at once and it was just a little bit too much for us to overcome. But it’s something that we’ve seen now and we use it for experience.”