Division Two Playoffs – Quarterfinal roundup – by McNutty

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The quarterfinals for Division Two were played on Wednesday across Puget Sound. Conventional wisdom would say we had two upsets and two expected winners. First, on the expected outcome side: 

Nathan Hale 14, Mt. Si 1

U Prep sophomore middie Thomas Hadac puts the move on Mt Si. Photo courtesy Jesse Lieberman.

We knew it was going to be tough for Mt. Si to keep the intensity up after their emotional win over a heavily favored Everett squad on Saturday.  But we didn’t know what a shellacking Nathan Hale was going to put on them. Goalie Andrew McCall and his defense shut out the Wildcats until the final two minutes of the game. McCall himself was a perfect 12 for 12 on saves and his defense only allowed 14 shots to be taken in the whole game. Coach Drew Snider’s Raiders now move on to host Ballard, a team they defeated 13-11 earlier in the season.

And a tip of the hat to Mount Si’s 15 seniors, who, as freshmen, were the first class to field a lacrosse team at the school. This ends four years of high school lacrosse that will impact the kids in that area for years to come. Good on ya!

 

Garfield 15, Overlake 7

Overlake senior Curtis Yokoyama sneaks around Garfield sophomore Sam Brickman (from SAAS)

The Bulldogs and Owls met at a delightfully packed Genesee field on a nice evening for lacrosse. I counted over 200 fans rimming the field, including a boisterous community of Overlake students who made the long drive. It was great to experience the emotion of a big crowd and the intimacy of the Genesee field. And I will always love watching lacrosse on a field without football lines.

This was a game I didn’t want to see end, because it would mark the end of some great WA lacrosse high school legacies. Overlake seniors Curtis Yokoyama, Erik Risa and Barrett Jenness have played together for years, virtually year around, and are supported by parents who have become mainstays in the lacrosse community.

Garfield's Nick Davis #12 and goalie Danny Strick (both seniors from O'dea) put the clamps on Overlake senior attackman Barrett Jenness

The same can be said for Garfield’s Jackson Lanning, Elliot Allen and Cedric Rhodes, along with others. Whoever went home after this game was going to feel like a page had turned in their lives, and Washington lacrosse would miss them.

As the game progressed, you could see how Garfield arrived at this point in the season undefeated. The crisp short passing, especially in man-up situations reflected lots of time playing together and building for this moment. It brought back memories of the 2006 Bulldogs, led by Drew Snider and Caldwell Rohrbach, who lost an overtime game to Issaquah in the Division 1 semi-finals. Overlake tried to keep up, drawing to

Yokoyama get our 'picture of the week' on face-off duty

within two in the 2nd quarter but never got closer than four in the 2nd half. Rhodes and Lanning combined for 9 goals and 12 points. Senior netminder Danny Strick made 10 saves on 17 shots.

A sad end for the high school careers of the Overlake seniors, but they leave the program with a full cupboard as the Owls will return 17 who played varsity as underclassmen this year. Two years ago they didn’t have 17 players eligible and healthy in the whole program. Coach Greg Butler has them back on track and they will need to be reckoned with in the coming years.

In the upset category:

Ballard 10, Stadium 5

Coach Brian Main’s Beavers came into this game as the Kingco Conference’s #3 seed, sporting a 10-9-1 (!) record. They faced the Stadium Tigers with a 10-1-1 (!) record. Yes, in fact, the teams tied each other in mid-March. Stadium announced themselves with the top seed in the Olympic division, blowing out a lot of teams with their division leading average of 17 goals per game. Aaron Park, Noah Leonard and Harry Dillman all averaged over three goals per game. With senior goalie Evan Lineweaver bringing an astounding 71% save percentage to the pipes and the defense allowing less than 10 shots and three goals per game, Ballard had their work cut out for them.

But there were plenty of Beaver believers, despite their lower seeding. Playing in D2’s toughest conference, Ballard clearly got better as the season progressed. In the high flying Kingco they held their opponents to just 14 shots per game. Senior captain Jacob Marks averaged over three goals per game in the regular season and led the offense.  And let’s be honest, how can you not like this look?

But the Beavers were the team ready to play on Wednesday. Josh Schwartzenberger continued his hot hand as he scored three goals in the game, earning his second playoff hat trick. Marks siphoned off the defense and fed his teammates, recording four assists. The defense shut down the Tiger’s Big Three on offense, limiting the trio to four goals among them. And in goal, the shark-throated Alex James recorded eight saves on 13 shots and the Beavers won 10-5.

 

Richland 8, Sehome-Bellingham 4

Maybe this doesn’t qualify as an upset.  After all, both teams came into this game with perfect records and impressive victories.  I meant no disrespect to Richland when I expected Sehome-Bellingham to run them over. And I’m guilty of not knowing much about the current Richland team. I try to get East to watch some games every year, but I didn’t make this season. And I figured they’d have some trouble adjusting to the graduation of their senior class, on whose back the program was founded. I was wrong.

But I am a huge fan of S-B and what Coach Jarrett Speith had done up north. They had some big wins over Lynden, Stanwood and handed Everett a tough overtime loss. Their offense is pretty balanced, led by senior attackman Dylan Bruce, averaging over three goals per game. Their nine seniors had worked hard for years to put themselves in a position to advance deep in the playoffs.

But I forgot that the Coyotes had a group of 12 seniors that were just as hungry. They never trailed in this game and although the Warriors closed to within one at the end of the first half, the Coyotes controlled the tempo. They got hat tricks from Zack Mabry and Mario Midili and eight saves from senior netminder Daniel Hart.  They won the game 8-4 and now move on to face Garfield in the semi-finals.

I’ll be there. And SoundLacrosse will be at all Wednesday’s semi-finals. Follow us on twitter @Soundlacrosse if you can’t be there in person. And buy some prints at www.soundlacrosse.com so we can give more money to a Washington lacrosse-based charity.

 

Here’s the recap of the upcoming games:

Division Two

  • 4:30pm –  Ballard vs. Nathan Hale at Summit Fields #2
  • 5pm – Richland vs. Garfield at Upper Genesee field. (No football lines!)

Division One

  • 7pm –  Eastside Catholic vs. Bellevue at Bellevue High
  • 7pm – Bainbridge vs. Mercer Island at Mercer Island High

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