MONTGOMERY, Ala. – Huntingdon men's lacrosse coach Andrew Carey wanted Saturday to be a good test for his first-year program. With three weeks until the official start of the season, the first lacrosse scrimmage in Huntingdon history was meant to be a gauge of the Hawks' strengths and weaknesses.
Auburn University's club team beat Huntingdon 20-10, but the Hawks accomplished their main goal at Samford Stadium.
"There is a lot to work on, but for the first scrimmage ever, I was pleased," Carey said. "This is a starting point for us. We've got a lot of things to clean up on defense and our clearing game, but the good thing is we have three weeks until the first game."
The Hawks open the season at Samford Stadium on Feb. 18 against Oglethorpe. Game time is set for 1 p.m.
"We all played hard and we saw what we need to work on. That's what today was about," freshman midfielder Brandon Sewell said. "We've got some work to do on defense and our clearing, but we're playing hard. We'll come back out here and work to prepare for Oglethorpe."
Sewell and freshman goalie Spencer Nix drew praise from Carey for their performance. Sewell led the Hawks with five goals, an assist and two ground balls and won 4-of-11 faceoffs. Nix finished with 11 saves and eight goals allowed in the first half.
"Both of them did a lot of good things today," Carey said. "I can't say enough about the phenomenal job Spencer did at goalie. With this being his first collegiate experience, I know he is going to keep working and he is only going to get better.
"I was pleased with the way Brandon stepped up. You don't usually see a freshman that can come out and play with a chip on his shoulder to score like he did. He did a good job. As we improve on our clearing game, we'll have more possessions and more opportunities for him and others to score."
Huntingdon matched Auburn for a period. But Auburn's depth and experience took over in the final three periods.
"We won't play another team that deep this year," Carey said. "The good thing is our first team matched up well with their first team. After that our youth and their depth worked against us. Their second team wore us down and they were just able to outrun us and score a lot late. But we hung tough with them early on."
Huntingdon's roster features 21 players, including 13 freshmen and a number of first-time lacrosse players. Auburn dressed 44 players on Saturday.
Tied 4-4 after the first period, Huntingdon was outscored 4-0 in the second period, 4-1 in the third period and 8-5 in the fourth period. For the game, Auburn took 64 shots and Huntingdon took 29.
"They had more numbers than we did today, but we played hard," Sewell said. "We did some good things on offense when we were able to posses the ball and we scored some good goals. We've just got to work on getting more goals."
Gavin Carey added three goals and an assist for Huntingdon. Tyler Campbell scored once, had two assists and three ground balls and won 2-of-9 faceoffs. Ryan Rees finished with a goal and a ground ball. Steven Gernatt had four ground balls.