Northwest Invitational – Day 2 Recap

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Northwest Invitational – Day Two

Catching the early morning ferry over to the city for a day of lacrosse

And with Day Two the Northwest Invitational got into full swing. The Seattle Chamber of Commerce provided the weather again on Saturday, which led to happiness and much cheer along all the sidelines. There were 11 varsity games on the docket and 75 lbs of ribs on Dave’s BBQ, the official paleo-friendly supplier to NWI. Fans hustled all day between three different venues, hoping to see their team catch a little lightning.

Claremont, down from Victoria BC supplied this year’s international flair. They roughed up a very good Lakeridge (OR) team, winning 11-5. “We just didn’t play as well as we did Friday night (vs. Bellevue)” said Randall Souers, Lakeridge’s junior defenseman. “But our high school season starts next week and I think we’re ready. It just depends on which Lakeridge team decides to show up.”

Issaquah defenders Eric Rauch (44) and Kole Lindor (21) sandwich Palo Verde attackman Alec Grant

Showing up was also a problem for Palo Verde (NV.) After playing a great OT game against Skyline the previous day, the Panthers struggled to find a rhythm against local favorite Issaquah and fell 10-5. Coach Gary Campo told his players at halftime that this tournament was about finding leaders, using setbacks on the field to develop leaders who would answer the call and step up.

Leadership is also a goal for Timberline (ID) Coach Tom Blanchard. “We’ve been coming here for four years now, all my seniors have played in every one of these weekends. We’re hoping for a couple of wins to give us some momentum to take back to Idaho for our run at another state championship.” Saturday ended with the Wolves still looking for that win as they fell 13-3 to Lake Washington and 10-3 to a tough Sunset (OR) squad.

Henderson standout Kieran Essler (Johns Hopkins commit) decides to go airborne on the edge of the cage against Bainbridge Island

Henderson (NV) continued to show well, leaping out to a 3-0 lead over Bainbridge. Then senior Joe Nunes retaliated for the Spartans with a sparkling goal but the Cougars would stretch the lead to 6-1. Bainbridge roared back with five goals but it wasn’t enough to overcome the early deficit and Henderson won 9-7.

In one of the marquee matchups of the night, reigning WA State Champs Mercer island hosted defending OR State Champs Lincoln. Lincoln was looking for their first win, having been thunked by the Guilderland (NY) squad the night before. MI won their Friday game against Lake Oswego, but was still trying to find some magic juju to get their team firing on all cylinders.

7 on 7: Mercer Island All-American candidate Connor Bernal defends against Lincoln's #7

The Cardinals started out on fire, building a 3-2 halftime lead. But the Islanders looked better conditioned in the second half and were ultimately able to pull it out, winning 7-6.

The other anticipated matchup of Saturday night was Guilderland (NY) squaring off against Bellevue. Guilderman spent Friday seeing the Seattle sites before knocking off Lincoln (OR) but on Saturday the team wanted to relax and focus on…the new Hunger Games movie. The team took in the hot new flick in a cool dark theatre and came to Bellevue Stadium ready to compete.

Bellevue sophomore attackman Hank Bethke lets one fly against Guilderland

The joint was jumping as youth players and fans turned out to witness a little East Coast lax. The Dutchmen feature several D1 recruits and have a lot of athleticism on the team. They rolled out a zone defense to try and muzzle the Wolverine attack. Showing some coach-inspired offensive discipline, Bellevue patiently worked the ball, not scoring the game’s first goal until there were less than two minutes remaining in the first quarter. Guilderland quickly equaled the score, but Bellevue led at halftime 4-2. Taking advantage of the Dutchmen during sloppy transitions, Bellevue built an 8-4 lead on hat tricks from senior Drew Douglas and sophomore Hank Bethke.

Youth day at Bellevue

Playing from behind, Guilderman had to abandon the zone in the 4th quarter, but their legs looked a little weary this early in their season. Bellevue polished them off 9-5 to remain unbeaten on the season. Then the boys stepped up and polished off a post-game meal provided by the Bellevue Lacrosse Boosters. Sunset found everyone leaving the stadium happy with another great day of lacrosse.

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