What a Friday night for lacrosse. It must’ve been the end of the Lyrid meteor shower or something. If you weren’t watching NCAA lacrosse last night, you missed some doozies. Syracuse scored two goals in the last 14.7 seconds to upset Duke by one, 16-15. Notre Dame scored with :04 on the clock to beat Maryland 6-5, and with 3.7 seconds left, Lehigh scored a 12-11 victory over Army, negating the primetime TV debut of Bellevue’s Cole Johnson (who had a sweet highlight goal you should find video of.) Lots of big, close games in the college ranks.
But we’re not here to talk NCAA lacrosse, are we? Well, here in Washington, we had our own meteorific games last night. Even though overall, this is the Year of the Running Clock (we’re still averaging 36% of league games being mercy-ruled) there were several great games last night.
Bainbridge hosted Oregon powerhouse Lincoln last night. The Cardinals came in ranked #5 in the state and were doing a quick day trip up and back to face the Spartans. As most know, this is a rebuilding year for Bainbridge, yet they have a firm grip on the #2 Metro playoff spot. What most don’t know is they only have five seniors on the roster, and they have less than 30 kids in the whole high school program. If you do the math, you find that means you can’t field both a Varsity and a JV team without a bunch of overlap. Coach Visco, however, has been masterfully getting his boys as much experience as possible, trying to get ready for the playoffs as well as the next seasons. To that end, his boys played Tuesday at Lakeside, then a bunch played a JV game at Bellevue, then hosted Lincoln on Friday night. That’s a lot of ferry travel,
but the squad is getting better. They played Lincoln tough, and a close game ended up as a 8-7 victory for the visitors. That’s a huge improvement from the team that lost to Eastside Catholic 17-4 in March. Look for them to make some noise in the playoffs, likely against Skyline, the Kingco #4 seed.
Speaking of Kingco, what a night for that conference. Eastlake (3-3,) on the 2nd night of a back to back, figured to have an easy time with Newport (1-4.) But Newport’s seniors Cooper Horton (3g, 8gb) and Morgan White (12 saves, 55%) kept their team even with the Wolves through three quarters. Eastlake squeaked it out 10-9 in a game they had to have, if they’re going to have a shot at the last Kingco playoff berth.
Eyeing that same berth, but from the outside was Bothell-Inglemoor, who visited The Jungle on Mercer Island last night. They need some outside help to grab that last Kingo berth, and they didn’t figure to get much from the Islanders, undefeated in league play. However, they were down
just one goal, 9-8, late in the game thanks in no small part to Keeper Rilyn Gherardini. Then with 8.4 seconds left, they get the tying goal and send it to overtime in front of a stunned Jungle. Islander netminder Benji Rothenberg put the team on his shoulders in the first OT, and then halfway through the 2nd, the Islanders win the game 10-9, on an EMO goal from Reid Fuhr.
The other Kingco game with major playoff implications also relied on amazing net play from both goalies. Issaquah visited Bellevue, both teams undefeated in league play, both teams coming of strong out-of-state Spring Break performances. It was close fought early, then Bellevue opened up a two point lead, and it smelled like there was some breathing room. But the Indians fought back and tied it up at the half, with a huge contingent of supporters in the stands. To start the third quarter, all-everything Hank Bethke picked off a clear, and in a move that has become routine, scored 1-on-1 to put the Wolverines up 5-4. Many in the stands felt like the floodgates would open now for the powerful Wolverine offense, but they were wrong. Instead, that was the last goal Bellevue would score as a smothering Issaquah defense, led by freshman d-pole Nate Holbrook, pestered the Wolverine clears and offense. Bellevue couldn’t hold on to the ball, and when they did get good looks, sophomore goalie Jordan Dondoyano (12 saves, 70%) shut them down. On the other end Wolverine keeper Cole Cansler (12 saves, 67%) kept his team in the game, and a late turnover got them a possession inside the final minute. Bellevue got off multiple shots which were either rejected, piped or off cage, and the Indians snuck away with a great victory. They host the Islanders on Friday night, with the lead track on the #1 Kingco seed on the line. Don’t miss it!
Look what’s happening in the D1 SPSL/Narrows conference. There are four teams vying for three playoff spots, and they all play each other over the next two weeks. Last night, Emerald Ridge-Puyallup (5-1) visited Curtis (4-1) with both just one game out of first place. A huge crowd showed up for both teams and watched Curtis take a 4-3 lead into halftime. The Vikings get one to start the 2nd half, then ER-P reels off six straight to take a 9-5 lead with just under five minutes to go in the game. Curtis gets two more, but the game ends with the score 9-7 and the crowd exhausted. Curtis will need some help to make the postseason, while ER-P has big games coming up against Tahoma and Auburn Riverside.
And finally, down south, an important game in the Central-South D2 division. Camas hosted Southridge and they’re both battling King’s Way for two playoff berths. Both teams split off from successful programs, Camas from King’s Way, and Southridge from Three Rivers, and they are looking to make a name for themselves all on their own. Southridge won the early season game, 11-7, and the Papermakers from Camas were looking for revenge. They found it in one of their most exciting wins in their young history, handing the Southridge Suns an 13-8 loss. That puts King’s Way and Camas a game ahead of the Suns, but everybody still plays each other in the final two weeks so anything could happen. Keep your eye on the April 30th game between King’s Way and Camas.
So finally, although it took a meteor shower, we have a night of Washington lacrosse, where almost all games had meaning and no margin of victory was more than nine goals (Skyline 16, Ballard 7.) Games were well attended, emotions were high, and memories were made. And no running clock games. Hallelujah.