After inconsistent 2012 boy lacrosse season, Fauquier hopes to find rhythm with new coach
The Fauquier boys lacrosse team spent 2012 on a jarring teeter-totter ride.
The Falcons never won three consecutive games and never lost three consecutive en route to a 7-8 record and this bizarre statistic: In 14 of those 15 games, the winning margin was at least seven points.
Fauquier would lose 15-2 one night and win their next game 17-1. The only closely contested game it played all season was a 14-11 season-ending loss to Culpeper in the semifinals of the Evergreen District tournament.
In short, consistency eluded the Falcons.
First-year head coach Eric Morrison expects that to change this season with five of Fauquier’s six returning starters playing attack or midfield. That experience should provide more consistent goal production from a team that outscored opponents 156-140 last season.
“I think we’ll better that [7-8 record] this year,” Morrison said. “I think once spring break is over and we get into a rhythm with games, we’re going to fare very well in our district.”
Fauquier actually finished last season as one of the top teams in the Evergreen despite its losing record overall. The Falcons finished 6-4 and in third with loses to only the district’s top two teams, Kettle Run and Culpeper.
“A tougher non-district schedule, honestly that’s the way you get a program better,” Morrison said.
Fauquier lost its lone game thus far this season to Monticello, 15-4, in non-district action March 15.
“Monticello’s tough. They’re picked to take their district,” said Morrison, whose team fell behind 12-0 in the first half. “We settled down at halftime and played smart lacrosse. I was really happy with the second half.”
Morrison took over as head coach after John Chrisinger stepped down following last season. Morrison served as Fauquier’s junior varsity coach in 2012 and previously coached JV at Robinson. He said Chrisinger wanted to step back from the sideline and enjoy his son Zack’s senior season from a distance.
Zack Chrisinger, an attackman, is one of four senior starters. Fauquier has at least one senior on every level of the field, which bolsters Morrison’s confidence.
“I think it’ll be a good season,” he said. “The sophomores that played varsity last year are a year better. They played a lot of summer league. Then I have two really good freshmen who have stepped in and will be an added bonus.”
Chrisinger and fellow returning starter Robert Morrison, a sophomore (and the coach's son), anchor the attack with sophomore Austin Bane, who replaced now-graduated Garrett Hume.
That starting trio played a lot of lacrosse over the summer, often together with the Battlelax travel program, for which Eric Morrison also coaches.
“Our attack is probably the strength,” he said of the Falcons. “They’ve experienced a lot of different looks and they’re more prepared physically and mentally.”
Facilitating that offense is a midfield composed of three returning starters – sophomore Briar Thomas, senior Nick Succop, and senior Colin Diehl. Thomas will again handle faceoffs this season along with sophomore Alex Ramey.
“Two really good face-off guys, which is really going to help us out,” Morrison said. “If Briar’s style isn’t working, then Alex can fill the void and give them a different look.
“But the depth of our midfield line” could be a problem, he said. “I’m just looking for three more kids to step up and take the bull by the horns [on the third line]. The lack of practice outside to see what the kids can do, it’s just been difficult to identify anybody.”
Morrison said the Falcons had only practiced outside five days prior to this week due to recent weather.
Fauquier’s defense has the least experience of any unit because following last season it lost to graduation Ty Bigelow, Hunter Ward, Paul Palmer and Jesse Matthews.
Sophomore Devon Webb is the new starter in goal behind a defense made of senior Kenny Palmer (who started some games in 2012), junior Travis Biskup and freshman Jack Liebel.
Freshman long pole midfielder Tyler Bane will also play a significant role.
“They’ve both very strong defensively for their age and have a very high lacrosse IQ,” Morrison said of the freshmen.
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Zach Chrisinger, Sr.*
Robert Morrison, So.*
Austin Bane, So.
Nick Succop, Sr.*
Colin Diehl, Sr.*
Briar Thomas, So.*
Travis Biskup, Jr.
Kenny Palmer, Sr.*
Jack Liebel, Fr.
Devon Webb, So.
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