Chase Buckwalter said Westminster’s resiliency has helped it garner success this season.
That resiliency was evident against Manchester Valley in the Class 3A West Section 1 final as the Owls used an early six-goal advantage to stay on top and defeat the Mavericks 16-10 at Glenelg High School on Monday.
Owls senior Bubba Love scored five goals and added three assists. Austin Sipes and Chase Buckwalter each contributed three goals apiece. Buckwalter and senior midfielder Christian Etchison each added three assists as well.
“I think we played as a solid team, on offense and defense,” Buckwalter said. “I feel like they got the momentum swinging in the second quarter and lacrosse is a game of emotion. It’s a playoff game so things are going to happen. Things are going to go other people’s ways but I think we regrouped and the resiliency of our team is amazing.
“We just powered through.”
Love scored four goals in the first quarter to help the Owls gain a 7-2 lead over the Mavericks. The Owls scored the first three goals before Dehon Saunders trimmed the deficit 3-1 with 5:22 still to play. The Owls tallied the next four before Grant Boerner found Owen McCallum for another MV goal.
The Mavericks tallied the next three goals in the second quarter to come within two of the Owls, 7-5. It was 8-6 at the half, thanks to a second goal from Reese Small.
The Owls used a three-goal run in the third quarter to pick up a 12-7 lead and Love’s fifth goal made it 13-8. Owls senior Gavin Bloom garnered his second penalty of the game with about four minutes left to play and the Mavericks utilized a man-up advantage when Connor Trump scored to make it 15-10.
Buckwalter connected with Sipes for another Owls goal and Cody Upman responded about two minutes, 28 seconds later to give the Mavs an 11th tally.
“I think our offense was firing the ball, we placed the ball well,” Buckwalter said. “We went up 7-1, 7-2 against them and started firing the ball. Once we picked up that momentum again, we just started firing and placing those shots well.”
Man Valley goalie Ben Barnes made seven saves and Owls goalie Logan Covey stopped nine.
Goals: MV-Owen McCallum, Dehon Saunders, Cody Upman, Connor Trump 2, Grant Boerner, Reese Small 3, Garrett Boerner 2; W-Austin Sipes 3, Bubba Love 5, Conner Covey 2, Justin Hulse 2, Chase Buckwalter 3, Christian Etchison.
Assists: MV-Saunders, Upman 2, Trump, Grant Boerner; W-Sipes, Love 3, Hulse, Cam Doolan, Buckwalter 3, Etchison 3.
Saves: MV-7 (Ben Barnes); W-9 (Logan Covey).