- The Enterprise
- The Recorder
Moving the ball around until there was an open shot was an understatement for the Northern boys lacrosse team on Wednesday night versus host La Plata.
The Patriots used its unselfish play and delivered 10 assists in a 15-0 shutout of the Warriors.
Offensively, Northern (5-1, 5-0 SMAC) dodged the pressure defense and made the precise pass to create numerous scoring opportunities, as nine different players found the net.
The Patriots will host Patuxent at 6:30 tonight, then host Leonardtown at 6:30 p.m. Monday.
“We have a lot of guys that are unselfish and work really hard in what they are doing as lacrosse players,” Northern head coach Joe Casalino said. “What's really fun about this team is that they are not concerned about their own stats, but are concerned with how they play as a team. That makes it fun to coach.”
Northern took a 5-0 lead in the first seven minutes of the game, eventually taking a six-goal lead by the end of the first quarter.
Five of the six goals in the quarter were assisted, with junior Seth Grimwood having three of them, while Bobby Almony had two on the game's first two goals.
“It comes from great coaching and most of us play together year round,” said Grimwood, who finished with two goals in the contest, scoring the team's first goal in the opening minute of the contest. “We know where each other are on the field. We are always team building, so when the season comes we are ready.”
Junior Ryan Cleary, who had a game-high three goals, had two of his goals during the first quarter and added an assist on the night.
“You just have to dodge, and when the pressure comes, just move it for the next guy,” Cleary said. “We just want to keep working on our passing and catching.”
Stemming from Saturday's 12-2 loss to Washington Catholic Athletic Conference opponent Paul VI (Va.), Cleary mentioned the team was motivated defensively
“When we played Paul VI, we gave up 12 goals, so our defense really stepped up, we had a formula,” Cleary said. “We've been working on that in practice, so we won't have the defensive letdowns.”
“Our guys really responded well,” Casalino said. “After that Huntingtown game [a 7-5 win last Friday], our guys were tired and in the Paul VI game. Tonight the guys made a commitment to get the shutout and we did.”
The loss snapped La Plata's four-game win streak. The Warriors (5-2, 5-2) will take on host Lackey at 6:30 tonight.
“We never gave up, but [Northern] made us look like we had never played lacrosse before,” La Plata head coach Kris Bayer said. “They had kids come off the bench that produced and they never lost a beat. I think our guys got intimidated when they went up early. We were playing from behind at that point.”
Junior goalie Ryan Sullivan finished with six saves in 3 1/2 quarters of work and senior Alek Beal added a save in the game.
“We really communicate with each other on defense,” Sullivan said. “When I see the shot winding up, I just look at the ball and make a play on it.”
Northern took an 8-0 halftime lead and exploded for seven more goals in the second half, scoring five of them in the third period.
Northern's Richard Reichert, Zach Fabian and Austin King scored two goals in the game. Jacob Bond, Chris Baxa, Steven Brown and Kyle Horak added one goal each in the victory.
“We have to clean up a few more things, and if we are a little crispier on offense, I think we will be tough to beat,” Casalino said.
La Plata senior goalie Ben Marquis had nine saves in the contest.
Northern 15, La Plata 0
Northern 6 2 5 2
La Plata 0 0 0 0Goals: Northern (Cleary 3, Reichert 2, Fabian 2, King 2, Grimwood 2, Bond, Baxa, Brown, Horak)
Saves: Northern (Sullivan 6, Beal 1); La Plata (Marquis 9)