Freestate teams notch three-game sweep of Wave­lax

Record Observer - - Sports -

AN­NAPO­LIS — Hard white rub­ber balls weren’t the only things bounc­ing off the ar­ti­fi­cial turf here on a muggy Thurs­day evening at An­napo­lis High’s En­sor Sta­dium.

Fly­ing sticks bounced af­ter some very suc­cess­ful stick checks. Hel­mets bounced af­ter some very ag­gres­sive body checks, which also caused a few bod­ies to bounce.

Only one body didn’t bounce so well, but he was able to walk it off.

The boun­ci­est bunch at the end, although they were clearly tired, was the Freestate 2018s, whose 13-8 vic­tory gave the prep lacrosse stars from Mary­land a clean sweep of three games against the stars from the Wash­ing­ton D.C. and Vir­ginia metro area.

Eas­ton’s ris­ing ju­nior at­tacker Clay Sch­midt scored four goals to lead Freestate in the fi­nale. Kent Is­land’s Bran­don Gal­loway also com­peted in the game as a mid­fielder, han­dling half of the team’s face-offs.

The evening opened with a Freestate 2019s 17-9 win, with the East­ern Shore rep­re­sented by Kent Is­land mid­fielder Ricky Tub­man. Eas­ton mid­die Corey Hall then helped the Freestate 2017s earn an 11-9 win in the evening’s clos­est con­test.

Col­lege coaches sat in a row along one side­line, tak­ing notes on prospects, who clearly demon­strated the re­gion’s high tal­ent level. Crisp pass­ing and catch­ing, ag­gres­sive and tac­ti­cal de­fense, and some amazing goal­tend­ing ev­i­denced years of prac­tice and hard work to ad­vance skills.

“It was fun hav­ing col­lege coaches look at us, just play­ing

the game,” said Gal­loway in his first year try­ing out for Freestate. He ex­pressed an in­ter­est in play­ing for Frost­burg State Univer­sity. The Bob­cats went 15-4 this past sea­son, fall­ing to Sal­is­bury Univer­sity in the NCAA Di­vi­sion III Colo­nial Ath­letic Con­fer­ence semi­fi­nals.

Over 400 Mary­land ath­letes com­peted in the first try­out games for the teams be­fore be­ing cut down to the Top 44 for each year class and one more time to the Top 22 for each class to com­pete in the fi­nal game against Wave­lax, which fol­lows the same process. The ath­letes’ po­si­tions are de­ter­mined by their high school coach.

Dur­ing try­out games, ath­letes are re­ferred to by num­ber to help keep eval­u­a­tors ob­jec­tive as they choose play­ers. The goal of the eval­u­a­tion process is to draw the at­ten­tion of the top col­lege coaches in the coun­try, which it does. Many col­lege coaches also at­tend the Top 44 games.

Sch­midt scored from 8 yards out with a right-handed un­der­arm shot to open the 2018s game. Af­ter Wave­lax coun­tered, he tal­lied again with an at­tack through de­fend­ers left of the crease be­fore fling­ing in a righthander for a 2-1 lead with 10:58 left in the first quar­ter.

Quar­ters were 18 min­utes long but with a run­ning clock to keep things mov­ing. Time­outs were lim­ited to quick line changes and to set­tle at­tacks.

Wave­lax’s 2018s bounced back to cre­ate a 3-3 at the end of the first quar­ter and the teams traded goals for a 7-7 tie with 10:20 left in the third quar­ter. But Broad­neck’s Brian Sch­wob scored from 10 yards out to make it 8-7 with 7:50 left in the quar­ter be­fore a Sev­erna Park hat trick to end the quar­ter. Sev­erna Park’s Dean Draughn flung in a left-han­der low in­side the far post to make it 9-7. His school­mate Chase Cope faked a right-handed shot, drove left, and fired in a left­hander for a 10-7 lead, and school­mate Joshua Coff­man made it 11-7 with a righthander from 12 yards out.

Sch­midt ben­e­fit­ted from a pass in­side and pumped in a low, close-range shot to make it 12-7. Mo­ments later, he scooped a loose ball in the crease and tal­lied with a quick shot to make it 13-7 with 13:40 to play.

“It’s a good ex­pe­ri­ence, get­ting to play in front of all of these coaches,” Sch­midt said. “Ev­ery­one worked the ball good. No one was play­ing self­ish.” He said he’s cur­rently un­de­cided about his col­lege plans.

With 10 tal­ented mid­field­ers on the Freestate 2019s, Tub­man’s time was lim­ited but his con­tri­bu­tions in­cluded solid de­fense and an as­sist on a fast­break for his team’s 13th goal.

“It was a great ex­pe­ri­ence. There was a lot of great tal­ent out here, and it was a fun time to play in front of some good coaches,” Tub­man said. He said he’s hop­ing to at­tend an NCAA Di­vi­sion I school.

Hall, one of 12 mid­dies on the 2017s, thwarted a fast­break op­por­tu­nity by Wave­lax in the third quar­ter. Freestate ral­lied with three unan­swered goals to end the third quar­ter for 9-7 lead. Wave­lax coun­tered to tie the game at 9-9, but Freestate got the game-win­ner on a goal by South River’s Ryan Wal­ters off an as­sist from North­ern’s Colton Dick with 8:10 to play.

“It’s fun to play with dif­fer­ent guys, get­ting to know some more peo­ple,” Hall said. “And play­ing for your state and play­ing against an­other state is pretty cool.”

Hall said he is look­ing to at­tend the U.S. Coast Guard Academy. This past sea­son, the Div. III Bears posted a win­ning sea­son in just their sec­ond year, go­ing 10-6 and end­ing the sea­son tied for fourth place in the NEWMAC.

Fol­low me on Twit­ter @csknauss Email me at

ck­nauss@star­dem.com

PHOTO BY DUSTIN HOLT

Queen Anne’s Alyssa Jack­son fin­ished with a .519 bat­ting av­er­age and a slug­ging per­cent­age of .865. She rapped 30 hits and knocked in 20 runs. A short­stop and sec­ond base­man, she had a field­ing per­cent­age of .985 for the Lions, en route to a spot on the All-Mid-Shore first team.

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