72 days ago, King’s Way defeated Eastside Catholic 19-11 to start the 2012 lacrosse season for both teams. Last night in a Division 1 semi-final game, Eastside Catholic ended King’s Way’s season in the rematch. It’s been a remarkable 72 days for the Crusaders.
Last night’s game showed how far a team can come within the confines of a lacrosse season. In a season filled with big, emotional wins against Bellevue and Bainbridge and bragging-rights victories against local rivals Skyline and Eastlake, this victory was the culmination of a team learning to play together and performing like a well-oiled machine.
Yes, Colin MacIlvennie scored six goals and posted nine points. But playing together as a team doesn’t mean everyone scores equally. It means that everyone understands their role and they perform it to the top of their abilities. That’s what was on display in this game. The Crusaders had eight assisted goals, their highest total this year. The ball moved as well as it ever has, with crisp passes and sharp catches. The defense, led by senior Scott Bowman and sophomore John Breed, put together probably their best four quarters of lacrosse. The men in orange grabbed 35 ground balls and seemed to have a body in the right place all the time, confining all of King’s Way’s goals to just two players, Jack Beall (5g, 1a) and Clayton Frank (3g). And faceoff specialist Henry Jarvis was a beast in the 2nd half, preventing the Knights’ comeback from gaining a toehold, as the lead never dropped below five goals.
Coach Holler’s boys bookended two great quarters, holding the Crusaders to one goal in the first quarter and knocking out five of their own in the fourth. But they got outscored 10-3 in the middle two quarters and they could never really recover. After Saturday night’s huge upset of Issaquah, certainly the biggest win of 2012, it proved too tough to maintain the emotional intensity that playoff lacrosse requires.
Now the Crusaders march into Memorial Stadium on Saturday night, determined to prove that their April victory over the Bellevue Wolverines was no fluke. Both teams appear to be playing their best lacrosse, and the matchup will announce to the Washington lacrosse community that there’s a new force to be reckoned with and it comes from the Plateau.
It’s been a wild 72 days and there’s only a couple more left. Eastside Catholic takes their 14-3 record to the State Championship intent on making these last days count. Crusade on, indeed!