Second-quarter run lifts Tigers past rival Indians
— The Rising Sun boys’ lacrosse team recalled its last meeting with North East before hosting the Indians Monday night.
The two teams opened their seasons against one another a year ago in an instant classic that saw North East edge the Tigers in sudden-victory overtime. On Monday, Rising Sun made sure extra time would not be necessary, handing the Indians a 9-4 non-divisional defeat.
“That stung,” Tigers’ senior attacker Brad Alexander said, recalling last year’s heartbreak. “Every year, the biggest game is against North East. There’s not quite a rivalry in the entire county that compares to this one.”
Last season’s thriller was Chris King’s first game as head coach of Rising Sun. The memory of it kept him from feeling complacent at any point Monday.
“Even though it was five goals there, we’re still sweating every second of it.
Good game on both parts, it’s always such a good game when you play these guys. It’s such a close rivalry, these kids all know each other,” King said. “It was a fun game to come out on top. Last year was such a heartbreaker. We’re a much better team this year, we’ve got guys returning and we’re deeper than we were last year.”
The Indians scored the game’s first two goals and led 2-1 after one quarter. The Tigers responded by outscoring North East 5-1 in the second period to take a 6-3 lead into halftime.
Senior attack Connor Burkhardt led the Rising Sun (5-1) offense with four goals and two assists. Alexander followed with a hat trick and an assist, Austin Philistine had two of each and Ryan Yashinskie and Ethan Greene both had a pair of assists. Noah Jones made six saves in cage.
“It was stellar. Noah played lights out, the defenders played lights out,” Alexander said. “Our team was really clicking on all cylinders, honestly. We moved the ball well on offense and when we got turnovers, we took care of the ball.”
Braden Beugel and Paul Simpson scored two goals apiece for the Indians (2- 3) and Will Smithmyer and Gunnar Reynolds each recorded an assist. Goalie Alex Miller stopped 15 shots.
“They’ve definitely improved a lot from last year. One thing they did well was inserting themselves and making us play a style that suited them. Their upand-down style really got to us,” North East coach Brian Marley said of the Tigers. “It tells us what we need to fix. We definitely need to fix our transition offense, our transition defense. We still have a lot of lacrosse left to play.”
Follow Sean Grogan on Twitter: @Sean_CecilWhig
Rising Sun defender Bryan Butler carries the ball upfield during the Tigers’ 9-4 non-divisional win over visiting North East on Monday.