Sec­ond-quar­ter run lifts Tigers past ri­val In­di­ans

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— 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.

NORTH EAST

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

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Ris­ing Sun de­fender Bryan But­ler car­ries the ball up­field dur­ing the Tigers’ 9-4 non-divi­sional win over vis­it­ing North East on Mon­day.

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