(COVINGTON, La.) On the afternoon of Saturday April 21, while many people were competing at the SPS Alumni Crawfish Cook-Off, the Lacrosse Wolves had their own competition against the Lower Alabama Bayhawks for the East District Championship. The Wolves won the game 13-5, despite a harrowing first half.
The Wolves started off on the back foot, with sloppy play allowing the Bayhawks to dominate possession and score three goals. The offense, when they had the ball, could not get many opportunities to score on this completely transformed Bayhawk defense (the last time these two teams met the Wolves’ offense scored 18 total goals) and were only able to score twice, ending the quarter with the Wolves down.
The second quarter was better for the Wolves, with the defense starting to understand the Bayhawks’ offense, allowing them a single goal. The offense improved, as well, but still could not quite break through the tough Bayhawks’ defense, only scoring two goals, and the first half ended with a score of 4-4.
Half-time gave the Wolves the chance to calm down and develop a strategy for the Bayhawks, and this gave the Wolves a clear advantage in the third quarter. The offense started to dominate the Bayhawks’ defense and were able to score five more goals, while the defense continued to improve and again only allowed a single goal for the Bayhawks.
The fourth quarter was the complete opposite of the first quarter, with the Wolves’ offense having possession the majority of the quarter, and the Wolves’ defense proved too much for the Bayhawks as they were unable to score to cap off the game.
The Wolves had a poor start to the game. Could the reasoning behind this poor start be a ‘big head’ attitude after a 18-6 rout of the Bayhawks on Feb. 17? Or, maybe the slow start could be attributed to the SSA Prom being the night before, as the Wolves were getting down to “Sweet Caroline” and “Don’t Stop Believing” late into the night. Ultimately, the Wolves’ play improved as the game went on, and they were finally able to gain the upper hand over the Bayhawks in the second half.
“We were very sloppy the first half, and props to Lower Alabama; they played extremely well,” said junior defender Hyde Healy. “In the second half, we found our rhythm and started playing like we knew how, and that was evidenced by the score.”
The Bayhawks are a team of athletes that could rival the Wolves; however, while they may be strong and fast to start, they did not have the conditioning needed to keep up with the Wolves the whole game. This led to the Bayhawks picking up several penalties in the second half as they became tired and angry. Those penalties led to several goals for the Wolves, and the Bayhawks’ lack of energy gave the Wolves’ defense more opportunities to cause turnovers and get the ball to the offense.
The Wolves now prepare for their greatest challenge of the season: winning the LHSLL State Championship. They head to St. Thomas More’s Cougar Stadium today (April 27) for the Louisiana High School Lacrosse League (LHSLL) Final Four and prepare to face Jesuit in the semifinals on Saturday, April 28, at 7 p.m.
A win Saturday would advance the Wolves to the State Championship, which is slated to be played the very next day on Sunday, April 29, at 2 p.m.
. . .
Chris Flood- 2 goals 7 assists
Ian Varney- 3 goals 1 assist
Paxton Ballard- 3 goals 1 assist
Jarrett Meibaum- 2 goals
Santo Morales- 2 goals
Hanson Stuckey- 1 goal 1 assist
Robby Nolan- 2 forced turnovers 2 ground balls
Hyde Healy- 2 forced turnovers 3 ground balls
Jakob Massey- 4 ground balls
Michael Philippe- 2 ground balls
Jackson Gold- 1 ground ball
J.C. Flick- 6 saves 5 ground balls
Julian Contreras- 3 saves