Division One Playoffs – Quarterfinal roundup by McNutty

by

The quarterfinals for Division One were played on Thursday in Western Washington. The four games were all rematches from earlier in the season and the outcomes were the same in three of them. First up, the other one:

Eastside Catholic 14, King’s Way 10

EC junior Colin MacIlvennie puts on the brakes on a spin move against Skyview senior Jeff Sanchez for King's Way. Photo: Charles Mauzy

A rematch of last year’s semi-final where the Crusaders traveled south and knocked off K-W 13-8. This year the Knights had to travel north and were looking for the same kind of success they had in their OT victory earlier this year. Both teams were essentially the same as last year, with King’s Way led by senior All-State players Jack Beal, Nick Guinett and Clayton Frank. Coach Dave Holler was looking for a way to break through to the semi’s and give his seniors a shot at a state title before they graduate. Eastside Catholic countered with junior All-American Colin MacIlvennie and All-Staters Jarrett Toy and John Breed. King’s Way pounded hard in the first quarter and earned a 6-3 lead with 3 minutes left in the first half. But senior Blake Lee and MacIlvennie led a 4-0 run that closed out the 1st half with the Crusaders up 7-6. Toy started the 2ndhalf with two as they built a 9-6 lead

Camas Senior All-American Jack Beall for King's Way swims past EC Senior LSM and Captain Cole Ivanoff. Photo: Charles Mauzy.

and King’s Way would never be able to draw any closer. The Crusaders won 14-10 and the Knight’s seniors moved on to their college careers (Frank, Beall, and attackman Connor Dyehouse, who had three goals tonight, have already committed to NCAA squads.) MacIlvennie, with four goals and seven points on the night, will lead his teammates into a rematch of last year’s State Championship game, vs. Bellevue. The Crusaders are averaging almost 14 goals per game and over half of them are assisted. Despite tonight’s tough night in the cage, Eastside Catholic leads the league in goaltending save percentage at 59%. It ought to be a nice battle at Bellevue on Wednesday. 

Bainbridge 10, Auburn Riverside 9

Party at Peet's Pool. Photo: Sue Larkin
Auburn-Riverside Junior Drew Werner gets in a late hit after Bainbridge Junior Jackson Larkin scores on a quick stick. See you two next year 🙂 Photo: Sue Larkin

Is there a funkier setting in the state for lacrosse than Pete’s Pool Stadium? Certainly it’s the most iconic name, if not field. And it’s even better for playoff lacrosse, where the impact of every action, every decision is multiplied by its intensity. The Titans last year, in just their third season in D1, made it to the quarterfinals, losing there to Eastside Catholic. They hoped to expand on that this season, but the Spartans of Bainbridge Island stood in their way. BI was having an enigmatic season. They returned 12 seniors, all with significant varsity experience, but they struggled in the middle of the season with uneven offensive play against quality opponents. Wallowing along at 5-5, a late April upset of Lakeridge, Oregon’s top-ranked team, sparked them on an 8-2 run going into tonight’s game. And they owned a 14-7 home victory over this same Auburn-Riverside team just the week before. This playoff game was a back and forth affair.

Bainbridge All-American Attackman Jake Knostman gets it from both sides but also gets the goal. Photo: Sue Larkin

Bainbridge’s Fairfield-bound senior, All-American Jacob Knostman was held to just two goals, but he was able to lead and control the Spartan offense, finding other players to do the scoring. All-State midfielder Greg Shea was one of those players, getting two goals off of his knack for the high dodge. The Titans stayed close behind, getting their offense from a balanced attack. Keenan Fagen, Gordon Nelson, and the Lucchesi brothers (Michael and Joey) each had two goals on the night. The Spartans went up 5-3 with two minutes left in the half, but a strategic timeout by Titan Coach Louis Lucchesi netted A-R a goal with eight seconds to play. 5-4 Bainbridge at the half. Three quick goals in the 3rd quarter sent Bainbridge reeling as the Titans took a 7-5 lead. But recently anointed top goalie in the state, Reynolds Yarbrough, turned away a couple of tough shots, BI turned the momentum into goals, and the 3rd quarter ended in a tie,  8-8. Exhaustion took its toll in the 4th as play got a little sloppy. Bainbridge made the better of it and with five minutes to go in the game, Knostman found Shea to go up 10-8.  The Titans made a furious run at it, making it 10-9 with one minute left. But Yarbrough earned his accolades and gobbled up a Titan shot with nine seconds left in the game to seal the victory. Coach Jack Visco’s boys have weathered a little bit of an up and down season. They feel solid, but have been unable to breakout with a landmark victory against one of this year’s top squads in Washington. They’re 14-8 and have put themselves in the position they wanted at the beginning of the season; the state semi-finals. They’ll have to travel to Mercer Island, but that’s a jungle with which they are familiar. Perhaps it’s time for that signature win.

Bellevue 15,  Eastlake 5 –  Game photos here

Bellevue All-State Junior Hank Bethke quick sticks past lunging goalie Connor Sihon. Photo: Molly Piper

What to do about Bellevue. The hardest part about writing about the 2013 team is to not use the word juggernaut. They’re 19-2, the only two losses being to Long Island powerhouses. They’re ranked National top-50 in LaxPower. Under Armour has them #4 in the West. Six weeks ago they beat Eastlake 18-5. Since then, the Wolves have gone on a tear, going 7-3, upsetting Issaquah and Skyline, then posted their program’s first ever D1 playoff win, routing Curtis. Could Thursday night’s full moon inspire the Wolves to terrorize the Wolverines? First year head Coach Chris O’Dougherty has his boys playing the consummate team game. It’s not a team blessed with standout stars; there’s no Johnson, MacIlvennie, Beall or Knostman on the field.

Eastlake's All-State Senior Attackman Josiah Fonte does an acrobatic pirouette. Photo: Molly Piper

Senior Josiah Fonte is the leading goal scorer, but he’s 15th in the league, individually. However, Eastlake is 8th in the state in team goal scoring, tied with Issaquah and King’s Way at over 10 goals per game. But the Wolves do it as a team, not relying on individual prowess. On defense, they’re 6thin shots allowed (15 per game) which for my money is the best stat to use when trying to figure out how good your defense is. The point is, Eastlake has enjoyed success this season because O’Dougherty has them playing as a team; a blue-collar-better-bring-your-lunch-pail-because-we’re-not-going-to-let-up-on-you-team. But tonight, they faced the juggernaut. (There, I used it.) Let me put it simply: Bethke (6g, 5gb)…Johnson (5g, 2a, 6gb)…Eric Haehl (2g, 2a, 1gb.)  The naut got juggered tonight.

Bellevue's Senior Captain Simon Jenkin turns the corner. Photo: Molly Piper

Eastlake’s season ended, but hopefully the legacy has begun. They only graduate seven, and with a year of O’Dougherty under their belt, they now know what they are capable of and what it will take to get better. “We had a great season,” said O’Dougherty, “the boys met their potential, and earned the reward of playing the best team in the state in the quarterfinals. They’ve never achieved anything like that before.” Bellevue now faces Eastside Catholic in a rematch of last year’s Championship game that Bellevue won 13-4. These teams have not met yet this year, and while they are familiar foes, the rosters have changed since that Memorial Stadium game.  

Mercer Island 6, Issaquah 5 – Game photos here

Run 'n Gun, Shoot n' Watch: MI Senior Attackman Grant Preisler shoots and scores, impressing even the defense. Photos: Michael Jardine

These teams met two weeks prior; in that game the first half was close but the Islanders put it away in the second, winning 11-4. Defensive mental breakdowns plagued the young Eagles as the game wore on. As I’ve noted before, Coach Brandon Fortier has been forced to play a lot of underclassmen on varsity this year. And staying strong in the face of adversity is a tougher lesson to learn when you’re 15 than when you’re 18. So the Islanders won the first game. This game looked at first to be a continuation of the previous one. Seniors Steen Swedstedt and Justin Rorem staked MI out to a 3-0 lead. They owned the time of possession in the quarter and their zone defense continued to improve.  Zach Taylor and Chase York, two of only three 1stteam All-State defenders, dominated and shut down the Eagle offense. Devlin Conway was a beast on the faceoffs. But Issaquah’s defense tightened up and didn’t give up a goal the rest of the half, which ended with MI up 3-1.

In Yo Face(-off): Issaquah's Sophomore Mikey Giannopulos stares down Zach Taylor on the attack. Photo: Michael Jardine

Coach Fortier seemed to make the better adjustments and Issaquah was able to make some hay in the third quarter. Sophomore All-Stater Mikey Giannopulos dominated the faceoffs in the 2nd half and the time of possession inched towards Issaquah. Zach Fritz found Matt Thomas twice and the 3rd  quarter ended tied 4-4.  In the 4ththe teams traded goals, then Swedstedt, averaging almost 3 goals per game, put the Islanders up 6-5 with five minutes to go. The Islanders Benji Rothenberg (who, along with Lakeside’s Peter Scott were the odd men out in this year’s All-State goalie awards) made a spectacular save in the last few seconds to seal the win and end the Eagles season. “Benji played great tonight,” said Coach Ian O’Hearn afterwards, “we would not have won the game without him. We would be going home.”

MI Senior Justin Rorem looks to feed while Issaquah's Mikey Giannopulos and standout goalie Brady Hahn protect the angles. Photo: Michael Jardine

Unfortunately for them, Issaquah’s the team going home. A good season, first place in their conference and lots of optimism for the years ahead. They return six of their top seven goal-scorers. All-State senior goal Brady Hahn played all but 45 minutes of goalie time and leaves a strong legacy, but a big hole in the net. He will be missed. Mercer Island hosts Bainbridge Island, in an Island War Redux on Wednesday, hoping for a repeat of their victory (9-6) of a month ago.  That game was close for three quarters, and the Spartans are hoping they can make it go four this time.     Here’s the upcoming semi-final games this Wednesday, May 29th:

Division One

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

Division Two

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

Get out and watch these great games, but if you can’t, then  follow us on twitter @SoundLacrosse. And photos will be posted at www.soundlacrosse.com, so buy lots of prints so we can donate the proceeds to some lucky Washington-based lacrosse charity!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *