Socastee lacrosse drops season opener to Raptors

The Socastee boys lacrosse team’s season got under way Tuesday night with a disappointing 4-3 loss at Academic Magnet.

Socastee’s Jiovany Rendon, Stephen Dailey and Sage Beadling scored goals for the Braves and goalie Joey Lazaroff made 12 saves. But the Raptors scored with less than 2 minutes remaining to break the tie and send the Braves home empty-handed.

“Our guys played hard but we had a couple of key injuries,” Socastee coach Matthew Fox said. “We’re trying to get healthy and hopefully have a great season.”

Building a successful lacrosse program in Horry County is harder than it sounds. For starters, not all the players actually attend Socastee High. Because it is the lone sanctioned program in Horry County, students from other schools are allowed to participate as de facto Braves.

Although the hodgepodge roster could cause some problems between teammates accustomed to being bitter rivals, Fox says the common bond of lacrosse brings the team together.

“There are some challenges with it in terms of transportation, getting to practice on time and communication with me,” Fox said. “But as far as rivalries, the best thing about these kids is whenever they step on the field, they’re all one.”

Adding to the team’s us-against-the-world mentality is a postseason ban handed down by the Region IV committee over an incident that occurred last season. The school is in the process of appealing the decision to the SCHSL, and Fox said he couldn’t comment on the case since it is ongoing.

But Fox feels his team has a shot to make some noise in the playoffs this season, and deserves the opportunity. With a lot of turnover on the team and the infusion of new talent from other schools and a new summer rec league program, the area is closing the gap on other parts of the state with a deeper lacrosse background.

“We have a solid chance to make a run,” Fox said. “We struggled last year and lost in the first round of the playoffs, but we have a lot of new guys coming in. All our guys put in a lot of work and effort during the offseason, so we definitely have a chance to be competitive.”

Leading the way for the Braves is attacker Tyler Keane, who is one of the players currently out with an injury.  Fox calls Keane “the quarterback of our offense,” which is fitting since Keane also played QB for the Myrtle Beach High football team last fall. He and midfielders T.J. Lazaroff and Rendonare are expected to produce points for the Braves.

On the other end of the field, Joey Lazaroff is the QB of the defense and ranks among the top goaltenders in the state. Along with defender Josh Jakell, Joey Lazaroff is expected to keep Socastee in some games against superior firepower.

“Lacrosse is a lot like soccer defensively in that if you have a good goalie, like we do, you’ve got a chance,” Fox said. “But it’s really more like basketball on offense, with a lot of motion and plays. It’s a great sport, as more and more local people are finding out every year.”

Socastee  returns for its home debut Thursday at 7 p.m. against Wilmington Ashley·

2012 Socastee Lacrosse Season

Tue. 2/21 A Socastee @ Academic Magnet 7 PM
Thu. 2/23 H Socastee v. Wilmington Ashley 7 PM
Tue. 2/28 A Socastee @ Wilmington Ashley 7 PM
Sat. 3/3 H Socastee v. Bluffton 1 PM
Tue. 3/6 A Socastee @ Bishop England 6 PM
Sat. 3/10 A Socastee @ AC Flora 1 PM
Mon. 3/12 H Socastee v. Cookeville Lax, TN 7 PM
Tue. 3/13 A Socastee @ New Hanover 7 PM
Sat. 3/17 A Socastee @ Wando 12 PM
Sat. 3/24 H Socastee v. Academic Magnet 12 PM
Tue. 3/27 A Socastee @ Charleston Club 6 PM
Sat. 3/31 H Socastee v. Hilton Head 4 PM

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