Flex­ing some mus­cle

Pa­tri­ots boys lax con­trols fi­nal three quar­ters to de­feat War­riors

Maryland Independent - - Sports - By ANDY STATES as­tates@somd­news.com

Through the first 12 min­utes at La Plata High School on Wed­nes­day night, the host War­riors boys lacrosse team was tak­ing their shots at and hang­ing right with the North­ern Pa­tri­ots, long the pre­em­i­nent pro­gram in the South­ern Mary­land Ath­letic Con­fer­ence.

La Plata led on two oc­ca­sions in the open­ing quar­ter and the teams went to the sec­ond quar­ter tied at 4. The game was far from even over the fi­nal 36 min­utes.

Fol­low­ing the end of the first quar­ter, North­ern scored the next six goals and went on to a 13-6 win in the SMAC crossover con­test.

“They were en­thu­si­as­tic com­ing out, played with a lot of en­ergy and pas­sion and I don’t think we matched that en­ergy and pas­sion early in the game,” North­ern head coach Joe Casalino said, “but we ex­pected to come out a lit­tle cleaner than we did. It took a lit­tle while for us to get go­ing.”

Kevin Hub­bard scored with 8 min­utes 42 sec­onds left in the first half to give North­ern a 5-4 lead. Hub­bard scored again at the 3:03 mark, while Brock Daniel and Colten Dick added goals be­fore the half to ex­tend the Pa­tri­ots’ edge to 8-4 at the break.

“I think it was the mind­set be­fore the game. We weren’t re­ally pre­pared,” North­ern de­fender Ja­cob Pur­cell said of the team’s slow start. “We just kind of came into it feel­ing good about it. We weren’t re­ally get­ting warmed up. We could have got­ten more fired up be­fore the game. I think that’s what it was.”

North­ern (2-0 over­all) pushed its lead to 10-4 in the third quar­ter be­fore La Plata’s Ben LeBar­ron fi­nally scored to break the string. Bran­don Sul­hoff an­swered a cou­ple of min­utes later for North­ern, how­ever, while Ma­son Chaney and Hub­bard scored the game’s next two goals to in­crease the vis­i­tors’ ad­van­tage to 13-5 and en­sure there would be no La Plata rally.

For La Plata (1-1), which was led of­fen­sively by Cody Get­gen’s hat trick, the game served to give the team a gauge of where it is at early in the sea­son.

“I thought we played hard the whole game,” La Plata head coach Kris Bayer said. “I don’t think it was a lack of ef­fort. It was a lack of dis­ci­pline. We took way too many penal­ties. North­ern is too good for us to over­come two or three two-minute, un­re­leasable penal­ties. We have to be smarter than that. They take ad­van­tage of those sit­u­a­tions. We need to do bet­ter.

“It was our first real test. Hope­fully we’ll be bet­ter and hope­fully we’ll get a chance to see them again”.

North­ern, which

re­ceived hat tricks from Hub­bard and Sul­hoff, was set to get a real test of its own in a sched­uled matchup with na­tional power Lan­don, from Mont­gomery County, on Thurs­day. The Pa­tri­ots’ next sched­uled con­test is at 5 p.m. Tues­day at home ver­sus Lackey.

Casalino was ex­cited about the po­ten­tial his team had shown through its first two games, but is look­ing for the ef­forts to be­come more even as the sea­son pro­gresses.

“We’ve seen flashes of things we think are re­ally im­pres­sive,” he said. “We’re ex­cited about what we can be as a team, but we have to do it con­sis­tently. We have to do it for 48 min­utes. We have to get rid of th­ese down pe­ri­ods of time where we’re not play­ing to our full ca­pa­bil­ity. We have a lot of good, tal­ented play­ers. They have to un­der­stand when they have op­por­tu­ni­ties they have to take ad­van­tage of those op­por­tu­ni­ties and play with some pas­sion.”

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