The Hammond defense knew exactly what Wilde Lake attackman Siyon Lowe was going to do, but they couldn’t seem to find an answer for it. Starting from X, Lowe dodged past defenders, wrapped around the goal and either fired in a shot or found an open teammate.
The junior collected eight goals and added two assists for the visiting Wildecats in a 19-7 victory over Hammond in the regular season finale for both teams on Monday evening.
“Our entire team was working together and moving off the ball,” said Lowe, who finished the regular season with 51 goals scored. “That really helped me out so I was able to make that move throughout the game.”
Senior Colin Tiffey added four goals, including three in the third quarter where Wilde Lake (3-8, 5-9) took command of the game. Ryan Tiffey, John Radcliffe and Danny Chu all scored twice.
The Wildecats made good on their first two shots of the contest – goals by Lowe and Colin Tiffey – to take an early advantage, and led 5-2 after the opening quarter.
But the Golden Bears, celebrating nine seniors in their final home game, responded in the second quarter. Senior Colin Mason cut into the Wildecats’ lead after scoring on a low bouncer to open the period. Later, Shane Strott’s goal made it 6-4 with 7 minutes, 13 seconds left in the first half.
Wilde Lake would reclaim the momentum seconds later when Lowe notched back-to-back tallies and Danny Chu scored another to stretch the lead out to 9-5 at halftime.
In the second half, the Wildecats proved to be too much for Hammond.
Behind a renewed defensive effort from Josh Tulkoff, Dana Dickerson and goalie Jeremy Kass (six saves), among others, Wilde Lake held the Golden Bears scoreless in the third quarter. Over that 12-minute span, the offense erupted for eight unanswered goals to break open the game.
“Wilde Lake is a very talented team and they were a few steps ahead of us in the second half,” Hammond coach Christopher Reagle said. “But I thought our team fought well.”
Colin Tiffey began the third quarter run after splitting a double team and finishing in front of the cage. He later capped the spurt with an extra-man goal that was assisted by Pierson Swanson for a 17-5 lead.
“Coach (Dave) Smith made some great defensive adjustments,” Wilde Lake coach Jonathan Robinson said. “We were playing very flat-footed in the first half. We got up early and kind of became complacent but we made a pledge at halftime that we would defend a lot better.”
Mason finished with a hat trick and Elliott Wascavage contributed a pair of goals for Hammond (0-11, 1-13). Goalie Ben Ballard continued his strong play with 10 saves.
“We have a lot of guys who have been on varsity for three years now and it’s going to be tough to see them go,” Reagle said. “They’ve meant a lot to the program and have helped us turn it around. Hopefully we are headed for a bright future.”
Wilde Lake will host River Hill, while Hammond is on the road against Reservoir on Wednesday in the opening round of the Class 3A-2A South Regional playoffs.