Team goal unfulfilled, but many lacrosse players recognized
Coming into this season, the goal for Pencader Charter High School’s boys lacrosse team was to finish with a winning season for the first time in the program’s brief history.
For a program that has become stronger each season and finished 7-8 last year, it was a reasonable and achievable goal.
Unfortunately, life does not always go as planned.
With a final record of 6-9, the Titans came up short of their goal and are still in search of that first winning season.
“It always feels bad coming up so short,” said junior captain Tom Warwick, “but you always have to look forward to next year.”
After getting off to a rough 1-6 start, Pencader put together a three-game winning streak, and their season goal seemed possible again. But two tough losses put the goal out of reach, as the Titans fell to Mount Pleasant 6-4 and Caravel 8-6.
Still, there were quite a few bright spots for Pencader this season. Many players were satisfied with their overall effort and certainly not walking around with their heads down.
“We did well,” said senior attacker Arjun Patel. “With such a small team, we certainly did play hard.”
In recent voting by coaches in the Blue Hen Conference Flight B, four Titans were named to the all-conference second team. Warwick (attacker), junior Drew Stobaugh (midfielder), junior captain Sam Bajwa (defenseman), and sophomore Nick Borden (goalie) all received all-conference mention for the first time.
“I’m very proud of them,” said Pencader coach Brett Townsend of his all-conference players. “They surpassed expectations this season and made lasting impressions on their teammates and opponents alike.”
Warwick scored the most goals for the Titans this season. In a 13-1 win over Christiana, he exploded for five goals.
“It felt really good; I didn’t really expect to make this many goals in the season,” said Warwick, who has been playing lacrosse since the age of 10, when his father signed him up for a youth league. “I just wanted to help out the team as much as I could to achieve our goal.”
In the Titans first win of the season, an 8-7 overtime victory against St. Georges Tech, Warwick and senior Brandon Hodgdon each scored three goals, and Stobaugh scored the other two. Stobaugh also scored five goals in one game, when Pencader topped Dickinson 15-8.
In a close battle against St. Thomas More, senior captain Ryan Cheng scored three goals in the Titans 6-5 win, and Borden recorded 18 saves.
In another close game, a 7-5 victory over St. Elizabeth, Hodgdon led the way by scoring three goals, and Borden stopped 12 shots.
The Titans closed their season May 10 with a convincing 11-3 win over Campus Community, and at that game they honored their seniors. This year’s senior class consisted of Patel, Hodgdon, Cheng, Nana Otchere-Addo, Sam Rambo, Brandon Carbine, Alex Spracher, Morgan Smith, and Joe Heck.
Earlier in the season, Pencader’s athletic department honored those students who were also excelling in the classroom, and the list for the lacrosse team was long. Players earning nothing less than A’s and B’s in the third marking period were Cheng, Patel, Spracher, Warwick, Bajwa, Pruth Enugula, Vishal Patel, Nathan Rouwhorst, Taylor Cobb, Zach El-Azom, David Flores, Alvin Thomas, Shrey Patel, Juan Ruiz, and manager Julian Tanjuakio.
“I’ve been playing lacrosse for Pencader for three years,” said Cheng, “and since this is my last year, I hope next year’s team will continue to work hard and stay committed.”
And maybe next year’s team will finally climb over that mountain and produce the lacrosse program’s first winning season.