Throughout this season, Atholton’s boys lacrosse team has displayed one of the better balancing acts of any squad in the county. One game they may be up, while in others, they miss a step or two.
Wednesday, against Long Reach in the first round in 3A/2A South Section I play, coach Erik Burnett was happy with what he saw, as the Raiders defeated the visiting Lightning, 9-2.
“We’re a little bit ‘Jekyll and Hyde,’” Burnett said. “Every game is a different package. We’re not sure what we’re going to get.
“Today, we were a little bit sloppy, but we worked hard and did some things well. I think every team in the county, at this point, is better than they were a month ago, so we’re no different from that. We’re just trying to execute like everybody else.”
One of the bright spots for the Raiders (5-6, 6-8) was the play of Ryan McHugh. The sophomore midfielder notched two goals and two assists, and remained a constant force on the offensive side of the ball throughout the night.
“They were sliding quickly to me, so I knew the crease would be open,” McHugh said. “When they didn’t slide, I just put it in the back of the net.”
Atholton’s domination in the game didn’t take long to present itself. Just six minutes in, McHugh notched his first goal and assist of the night – a quick pass to Sam Smith.
In the second quarter, the home team tacked on four more scores, shutting the Lightning out in the process as well.
“We’re playing hard in between the restrainers. We’re getting ground balls, and we’re playing fast in transition,” Burnett said. “I was very happy with our defense.”
Long Reach got two scores in the second half courtesy of Andy Belush and Cristian Jerry.
The Raiders offense was a constant threat for goalie Anthony Valenza (15 saves) all game.
The Lightning end the season 2-9 in county play, and 4-10 overall.
With the win, Atholton advances to the second round of regional play. The Raiders will travel to Northeast High School Friday – a team they scrimmaged earlier in the year.
“They’ve got some real talented athletic kids,” Burnett said. “I think they’re like us. Very athletic, but they have their hot and cold days. They’re well coached, and they have some kids that can flat out play. It will be a battle.”
Atholton 9, Long Reach 2
Goals: A – Ryan McHugh (2), Sam Smith (2), Neil Sen, Max Bryant, Joey Brewer, Quentin Jones, Sean McHugh; LR – Andy Belush, Cristian Jerry.
Assists: A – R. McHugh (2), Smith (2), Brewer.
Saves: A – Andrew Seidel 4, Sam Zarcone 1, Darsh Patel 1; LR – Anthony Valenza 15.
Half: 7-0, Raiders.
Wilde Lake 16, Hammond 4
Wilde Lake hadn’t played against Hammond since the final week of March. In that game, the Cats rattled off 10 goals, but allowed five on defense in the winning effort.
Wednesday, in the first round of 3A/2A South Section II play, they took on the Golden Bears again. This time, it wasn’t nearly as close.
Siyon Lowe, Ryan Tiffey, Pierson Swanson and Patrick Riley all combined for 12 goals for the visiting Wildecats, who defeated Hammond, 16-4
“We talked yesterday about when the first time we played them. It was the second game of the year, and we definitely didn’t give them our best,” Wilde Lake coach Jon Robinson said. “We wanted to run our offense and earn the goals that we got.”
Though the Wilde Lake offense put points on the board with ease throughout the contest, Robinson said the game ball went to the entire team – which included a defense that never let the Golden Bears (0-11, 0-14) get fully comfortable, as well as goalie Joe Boccher (10 saves).
The second and third quarters were where the Wildecats (3-8, 5-9) made their presence known, churning out 11 goals in 24 minutes.
Wilde Lake now has the task of facing River Hill in the second round of the playoffs. In the two teams’ first matchup, the Hawks ran away with the 15-5 victory.
Robinson said he was going to channel Baltimore Orioles manager Buck Showalter, and tell his team to team to “sleep fast,” and get ready for the opportunity to avenge the loss.
“I know coach (River Hill coach Keith) Gonsouland is going to have them ready to play,” he said. “He always does. The kids are motivated. Out of everyone in our section, that’s who they wanted.”
Goals: WL – Siyon Lowe (4), Ryan Tiffey (3), Pierson Swanson (3), Patrick Riley (2), Kevin Comeaux, Ben Briguglio, John Radcliffe, Jack Quinn; H – Eric Smith, Joel Thomas, Shane Strott, Robbie Eddy.
Assists: WL – Lowe (4), Riley (3), Tiffey (2), Radcliffe, Swanson H – Strott.
Saves: WL – Joe Boccher 10, Justin Allen 2; H – Ben Ballard 8.
Half: 8-2, Wildecats.
Around the county:
Marriotts Ridge 3, Mt. Hebron 0
Goals: MR – Jack Grote (2), Austin Dorsey.
Assists: MR – Grant Hanlon.
Saves: MR – Chris McTague 12; MH – Casey Dubois 7.
Half: 1-0, MR.
Next game: Marriotts Ridge at Glenelg, Friday at 4:45 p.m. (Game played at Western Regional Park)
Reservoir 15, Tuscarora 8
Goals: Re – Austin Mitchell (6), Hans Wicklein (3), Cole Evans (2), Matthew Marsh (2), Gary Cidre (2).
Assists: Re – Mitchell (2), Max Schuster (2), Cidre, Wicklein, Marsh, Grant McMullan, Max Wike, Drew Rutten.
Saves: Re – Trent Teodori 15.
Next game: Reservoir at Howard, Thursday at 7 p.m.
Oakland Mills 7, Francis Scott Key 6 2OT
Goals: OM – Evan Riss (3), Wyatt Neely (2), Kholton Allen, Kian Kelly-Chung
Assists: OM – Riss (2), Austin Hughes (2), Neely.
Saves: OM – Jesse Ketchum 10.
Next game: Oakland Mills at Liberty, Friday at 6 p.m.