Young Junior A Miners yet to realize potential
By: By Nicole Starker
| Posted: Wednesday, Jul 11, 2012 06:00 am
The St. Albert Miners Junior A lacrosse team couldn’t score a win at home on the weekend. On Saturday, the Miners tied the visiting Calgary Mountaineers with a score of 12-12 and on Sunday the Okotoks Raiders defeated the Miners by a score of 18-9.
The team is struggling to maintain the flashes of focused and effective play that they are capable of. “We have a very young team and they don’t know their own potential,” said head coach AJ Jomha. “They easily lose focus.”
Saturday night Richard Thompson led the scoring charge for St. Albert with four goals, followed by David Lehman with three. The Miners had the lead halfway through the third period but the Mountaineers held on to tie it up.
“Saturday we tied a game that I don’t think we played particularly well,” said Jomha. “We made a lot of bad decisions.”
On Sunday afternoon against the Okotoks Raiders, Thompson was out with an injury, but David Lehman again made a strong showing netting three Miners’ goals. Teammate Ryan Davis also came through for the team with a hat trick, but it wasn’t enough to secure a win.
“Sunday was frustrating as hell for the first half, but the silver lining was that we won the second half of the game,” said the head coach.
St. Albert got off to a slow start against Okotoks scoring only two goals in the first two periods, and came alive in the third scoring seven goals. But without a consistent effort, the Miners weren’t able to catch the top ranked Raiders.
Jomha said that the heightened level of play in the second half of the game “was the result of us finding a pride factor in our game, and beginning to use some of the assets we have.”
The Miners are a young team and with five players playing junior level lacrosse for the first time, and 10 playing their first season in junior A, Jomha says there’s bit of a learning curve for the crew.
Though the 2012 team may be younger than last year’s squad, that doesn’t mean the group is less skilled. “I think this season we have a more talented team but we’re younger so the question is whether we’re going to mature enough so our players can understand how good they can be.”
With playoffs looming, there is a risk that this young team may not realize their potential in time to be a threat in the playoffs, but it’s one step at a time for the Miners.
The coaching staff has lots of plans for the playoffs and they are confident that they have some effective strategies, but Jomha said, “right now we are focused on getting the kids to buy into our systems.”
The Miners currently sit at the bottom of the standings and will meet the Edmonton Eclipse Wednesday, July 11 at Servus Place in their last game before playoff action begins.