Let the histories show that after close to three years of lobbying and club-level play, Rhinebeck varsity lacrosse played its first-ever sanctioned game on April 15. The Hawks fell 11-2 visiting Pine Bush.
For the most part, Rhinebeck kept it light on the sidelines, grinning through the loss and acknowledging that they still needed some time in the oven. Head coach Will Bussert told his players in the second quarter, through a smile, “We’re sloppy on a lot of things. Just try to be more careful out there; I think the refs are having mercy on us because this is our first-ever game.”
Bussert was right. Hawks lacrosse has holes. Incorrect substitutions, failed one-handed groundball attempts, confused defensive shifts—typical fumbles for a first season, first game team.
“Going into this season we knew we’d be playing bigger schools with more players and more technical skill. This being our first game – we didn’t even have a scrimmage this year – we were definitely a little shell-shocked,” Bussert told The Observer, “They jumped out to a very early lead, but once we got composed, we showed that we can definitely play.”
Pine Bush scored six in the first quarter to bury Rhinebeck early, including a three-goal l salvo in the final 1:30 of the first quarter.
Rhinebeck evened out in the second, though, and held the Bushmen to one goal in the period. Pine Bush went to an isolation heavy offense and rotated the ball around the perimeter less, leading to fewer scoring opportunities under the pressure of a revved-up Hawks defense. History was made in the quarter when Rhinebeck’s Samuel Every scored the program’s first goal at 1:53.
The Bushmen returned to their statement-making ways in the third, hanging three goals on the Hawks and pressuring every clear attempts that Rhinebeck made. Roan Gideon scored Rhinebeck’s second goal with 1:40 left in fourth quarter.
Seven Pine Bush players scored, and Bushman James Keeley led all scorers with three goals. Rhinebeck attempted only 12 shots on goal for the game.
“It was hard that this was our first game. We know that next year we need to get more scrimmages in. We don’t want our first playing experience (for the season) to be our first three games. In the future, we have to prepare for that—we have to be looking forward, and not just to the next week,” said Bussert.