Tigers sur­vive Golden Elks’ surge, win 8-7 in boys’ lacrosse

Cecil Whig - - SPORTS - By SEAN GRO­GAN

sgro­gan@ce­cil­whig.com

— Three Elk­ton goals in a mat­ter of 22 sec­onds cut Ris­ing Sun’s com­fort­able four-goal lead down to a sin­gle score with 7:33 re­main­ing.

Con­nor Burkhardt stopped the bleed­ing for the Tigers just over a minute later. The se­nior at­tack­man used a swim dodge to at­tack from be­hind the cage and buried an un­der­hand, back­hand flip shot. The goal was Ris­ing Sun’s fi­nal of the night, but it was enough to de­liver an 8-7 Susque­hanna Divi­sion vic­tory Wed­nes­day.

“I saw a dou­ble com­ing, went over top and just took what I had,” Burkhardt said of his dodge to the cage. “I have to give it up to our de­fense, they re­ally pulled us out. High-scor­ing of­fen­sive team usu­ally, they only put up eight goals. Noah [Jones] played lights out in the fourth quar­ter, he had some re­ally great saves that kept us in the game.”

The Tigers sur­ren­dered one last goal to the Golden Elks in the fi­nal minute—an out­side shot by ju­nior mid­fielder Tyler Du­rant that brought the score to its 8-7 fi­nal with 48 sec­onds to play.

Du­rant con­trolled the en­su­ing face off to give Elk­ton pos­ses­sion and a chance at a game-ty­ing goal, but the Ris­ing Sun de­fense

ELK­TON

rose to the oc­ca­sion and forced a de­ci­sive turnover with 11 sec­onds re­main­ing.

“As a lacrosse per­son, I love see­ing th­ese teams get­ting bet­ter and bet­ter, but we feel con­fi­dent in our abil­ity this year,” Tigers coach Chris King said. “If we do what we need to do, we feel like we can win the game. It’s just get­ting our guys re­set­tled af­ter that. De­fen­sively, we pretty much had them the whole game, just at the end, [Du­rant] started beat­ing us on those face offs. That kind of changed the tide a lit­tle bit, but we just got back to ba­sics and got our heads back.”

Ris­ing Sun was able to shut the Elks out in the first half by neu­tral­iz­ing Du­rant—the county’s most dom­i­nant face-off man—at the X. The Tigers led 3-0 at half­time.

“We saw that he was do­ing re­ally good, so we prac­ticed how to pre­pare for him,” King said. “We have some good face-off guys to boot too, so we thought our guys would han­dle them­selves just by do­ing that. And then we just put some things in just to change some things around, things that maybe they hadn’t seen be­fore.”

A bounce-shot goal by Austin Philis­tine put Ris­ing Sun ahead 7-3 with 8:45 left in the game. Less than one minute later Josh Tay­lor scored a man-up goal for Elk­ton off a Du­rant feed. Tay­lor scored again just seven sec­onds later, as­sisted by Brady O’Neill fol­low­ing a face-off win. It only took 15 sec­onds for the Elks to tally again, an O’Neill goal from a cross-field pass by Du­rant.

“They were do­ing a great job on Tyler on the face offs, they had that planned out very well. Down on our of­fen­sive end, we weren’t mov­ing and we were be­ing self­ish,” Elk­ton coach Eric Day said of his team’s score­less first half. “I’m just proud with how our kids played. They could’ve very eas­ily gave up. We had the ball at the end of the game with a chance to tie it up. I’m sur­prised we didn’t get a shot off, but I’m proud of how they played.”

Burkhardt scored three goals and handed out an as­sist and Brad Alexander recorded two of each for the Tigers. Philis­tine had a goal with two as­sists and Quinn Stru­ble and Wy­att Grif­fith added a goal apiece. Jones made 14 saves in cage.

Du­rant led Elk­ton with three goals and two as­sists, Tay­lor scored twice, O’Neill recorded a goal and an as­sist and Joe Scud­eri and Jef­frey Day added a goal and an as­sist, re­spec­tively. Brad Ast­falk stopped 16 shots in goal.

Fol­low Sean Gro­gan on Twit­ter: @Sean_Ce­cilWhig

CE­CIL WHIG PHOTO BY SEAN GRO­GAN

Ris­ing Sun’s Austin Philis­tine car­ries the ball up­field dur­ing the Tigers’ 8-7 Susque­hanna Divi­sion win over host Elk­ton on Wed­nes­day.

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