Lacrosse Wolves Break School Record, Finish Regular Season Undefeated

Defender Robby Nolan runs from a Spartan attackman on March 24, 2018. The Wolves beat the Spartans 15-1. (Photo by Lynne Nolan)

(Hammond, La. / Ocean Springs, Miss. / Covington, La.) The St. Paul’s varsity lacrosse team made school history by finishing the season 11-0 and look to continue their winning streak in the playoffs. In their final regular season games, the Wolves defeated the North Shore Spartans 15-1, the Ocean Springs Greyhounds 15-3 and the Jesuit Blue Jays 10-6.

Wolves vs Spartans

The first half of the Northshore game was frustrating for the Wolves, as they dominated the ball and had plenty of opportunities, but they just could not put the ball past the Spartan goalie, who limited the Wolves offense to only five goals. The defense was never really tested by the Spartans, but they allowed one unfortunate goal after a shot was deflected off defender Robby Nolan’s stick past goalie J.C. Flick and into the goal.

The Wolves offense finally found their stride in the second half, and their improved shooting netted them another 10 goals. The Wolves defense continued their stellar performance and wanted absolutely no chance of another goal, limiting the Spartans to only two shots the entire half. Final score: Wolves 15 Spartans 1.

Wolves vs Greyhounds

The first half of the Ocean Springs game was extremely competitive, and the Wolves battled back and forth with the Greyhounds to finish the first half with a score of 5-3. The Greyhounds’ defense was a tough nut to crack, and the Wolves could not quite break it open in the first two quarters. The Greyhounds offense surprised the Wolves’ defense and sucker-punched them with fast-paced play that quickly scored goals in the first quarter. The battle between the boxes was especially fierce, and led to very tired players on both teams heading into halftime.

All the running from the first half caught up to the Greyhounds, and their lack of energy gave the Wolves the break they needed to dominate the second half. The Wolves deciphered the Greyhounds defense and, combined with the difference in conditioning between the two teams, the Wolves scored 10 in the second half. The fast play of the Greyhounds was not as successful when they were tired, and the Wolves defense capitalized on this to leave Ocean Springs scoreless the second half. Final score: Wolves 15 Greyhounds 3

Wolves vs Blue Jays

The first 24 minutes was the best offensive half of the entire year for the Wolves, and they scored seemingly whenever they touched the ball, adding seven goals for the Wolves. However, the Wolves’ short (and successful) offensive possessions allowed Jesuit’s offense to spend a lot of time possessing the ball, and their off-ball movement exhausted the Wolves’ defense, which allowed Jesuit to score six goals. Both teams went into halftime hoping to gain the upper hand and carry away the game in the second half.

The Wolves’ defense in the second half looked like an entirely different team, stepping up their play to leave Jesuit scoreless the entire half. The offense took advantage of the defense’s lights-out play to build their lead and finish the half with another three goals, ending the game with a score of 10-6. Final score: Wolves 10 Blue Jays 6

Three-Game Wrap-Up

The Ocean Springs and Northshore games continued the pattern of play we’ve seen from St. Paul’s the whole year, but in some aspects the Jesuit game was almost the opposite.

“Although in both games we played much better in the second half than in the first, it felt like we were in control from the start against Northshore, whereas against Ocean Springs it took us some time to settle in and impose our will,” Coach Roger Bacon said about the first two games.

The Spartans never really threatened the Wolves, whereas the Greyhounds kept up with them at first but lagged behind later in the game. Jesuit played the Wolves tight the entire game, but never gained the edge needed to take the lead.

“They (Greyhounds) came into the game ready to fight and with a lot of energy, but couldn’t match us in terms of talent, skill, or determination,” Bacon said.

One reason the Greyhounds had such a strong start against the Wolves was the atmosphere in Greyhound Stadium. The Greyhounds looked relaxed, and their bench’s cheering compensated for the emptiness of the stands to make one feel like the Greyhounds had the advantage even when they were down by several goals. Against the Blue Jays, the atmosphere was the opposite, which helped the Wolves tremendously. The Jesuit game was played in Hunter Stadium, and the large fan presence, specifically the significant student presence, gave the Wolves something to play for and kept them focused the whole game.

The Northshore and Ocean Springs games kept up the pattern from earlier games where the offense has a much better second half while the defense plays fairly consistently the whole game, but the Jesuit game was different. The Wolves offense had their best start of the season while the defense struggled to contain the Blue Jays. The second half of the game saw the defense drastically improve and the offense’s play slacken slightly, and this combination was enough to keep the Wolves undefeated for the season, becoming the first St. Paul’s lacrosse team ever to finish the season undefeated.

St. Paul’s hopes to stay undefeated as they head into the playoffs. The Wolves start the playoffs this Friday (April 13) with a rematch against Ocean Springs at 7 p.m. in Hunter Stadium.

.   .   .

IMPORTANT STATS

Northshore Game

Offense

Chris Flood- 2 goals 2 assists

Ian Varney- 5 goals 1 assist

Paxton Ballard- 2 goals 1 assist

Jarrett Meibaum- 2 goals

Reiss Plauche- 1 goal

Hanson Stuckey- 1 goal assist

Jack Collins- 1 assist

Santo Morales- 1 goal

Austin Holincheck- 1 assist

Jack Schwartz- 1 goal

Merrick Coghlan- 1 assist

Sal Orlando- 1 assist

Defense

Hyde Healy- 2 forced turnovers 4 ground balls

Michael Philippe- 3 forced turnovers 3 ground balls

Robby Nolan- 1 forced turnover 7 ground balls

Jakob Massey- 1 forced turnover 4 ground balls

Grant Addison- 1 ground ball

J.C. Flick- 1 save 1 ground ball

.   .   .

Ocean Springs Game

Offense

Chris Flood- 3 goals 4 assists

Ian Varney- 7 goals 3 assists

Paxton Ballard- 3 goals

Jarrett Meibaum- 2 goals 1 assist

Santo Morales- 1 assist

Defense

Hyde Healy- 2 forced turnovers 3 ground balls

Michael Philippe- 2 forced turnovers 2 ground balls

Robby Nolan- 3 forced turnovers 7 ground balls

Jakob Massey- 1 forced turnover 3 ground balls

Jackson Gold- 3 ground balls

Grant Addison- 1 ground ball

J.C. Flick- 3 saves 4 ground balls

.   .   .

Jesuit Game

Offense

Ian Varney- 2 goals 1 assist

Chris Flood- 1 goal 2 assists

Hanson Stuckey- 3 goals

Jarrett Meibaum- 2 goals

Austin Holincheck- 1 goal

Santo Morales- 1 assist

Defense

Robby Nolan- 4 forced turnovers 2 ground balls

Jakob Massey- 1 forced turnover 4 ground balls

Hyde Healy- 1 forced turnover 4 ground balls

Michael Philippe- 1 ground ball

J.C. Flick- 5 saves 3 ground balls

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Trackbacks/Pingbacks

  1. Lacrosse Wolves Begin Road to State with Playoff Win, Face Lower Alabama Saturday | The Paper Wolf - April 19, 2018

    […] score of this game was very similar to the score of the previous game between St. Paul’s and Ocean Springs, but the game itself was definitely not the […]

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