Flexing some muscle
Patriots boys lax controls final three quarters to defeat Warriors
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”.
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.”