Atholton boys lacrosse snaps skid with convincing win over Oakland Mills
By Kyle McFadden
Apr 05, 2019 at 10:35 PM
Atholton midfielder Nolan Krasnick snatched the second quarter’s opening faceoff and bulldozed up the chute, right through the heart of the Oakland Mills defense. Just 12 seconds into the quarter, he polished off the blitz with his third goal of the evening, a rocket shot that signified the sense of urgency within Atholton’s team.
The Raiders had lost four straight games going into Friday’s contest at Oakland Mills, most recently at the hands of Mt. Hebron in double overtime on Monday and Old Mill on Wednesday — a game they led at halftime.
On this cold, rainy evening, however, Atholton left no doubt. The Raiders built a five-goal lead before the game was five minutes old and cruised to a 13-5 victory to get back on track.
“We really wanted to come out fast, aggressive, and really make a statement,” said Krasnick, who finished the evening with six points (four goals, two assists). “We’re just looking to move forward.”
Leading into Friday’s game, Atholton Coach Alex McCoy challenged his team to look internally and not lean on anyone else for motivation. Krasnick, especially, shouldered the challenge, accounting for five of Atholton’s first eight goals. The junior also ignited the momentous start nearly the same way he busted open the second quarter: securing the opening faceoff and finding the back of the twine 40 seconds into the period.
“We’re trying to figure out who we are as a team,” McCoy said. “Channeling that intensity piece, the boys have to learn it comes from them. This isn’t a movie. There isn’t going to be [an emphatic] speech to get the boys going. It has to be an internal process.”
Two minutes later after the opening salvo, Krasnick buried a quick sidewinder from the left wing to make it 2-0, and by then, the Raiders had unloaded six shots before Oakland Mills could even sustain an offensive possession. Malcolm Jones overpowered two Scorpions defenders in the slot to make it 3-0 and added his second shortly after to keep Atholton churning.
Mason Meyerpeter’s goal at the 7:07 mark, which made it 4-0 at the time, was part of a three-goal burst in a matter of 58 seconds. Joe Thompson put Oakland Mills on the board with six minutes left in the first quarter when he intercepted an outlet from Krasnick — the only mistake around the ball he made all game — and finished at the doorstep. But Brian Tarantino (two goals, one assist) and Alex Hudgins tacked on goals to end the first quarter that gave Atholton a 7-1 lead through 12 minutes.
Atholton outshot Oakland Mills 14-3 in the first quarter and 34-22 for the game. Krasnick, Tarantino, and Justin Ahmuty piled on goals within the opening four minutes of the second quarter to swell the Raiders’ advantage to 10-1.
“I just told the boys, we want to be relevant,” McCoy said. “And in order to be relevant, you have to work and put out that effort.”
While McCoy was pleased, he pointed out his team has taken 21 penalties through six games — a number way too high for the coach’s liking.
“I think once we are able to understand the value of discipline, some of the other pieces will fall into place for us,” McCoy said.
Oakland Mills, meanwhile, couldn’t generate enough possessions early on and establish Coach Skip Darden’s brand of lacrosse centered around quality possessions. The Scorpions will look to turn things around Tuesday at Glen Burnie.
“We struggled a little bit with focus and quality possessions,” Darden said. “We had to settle down a little bit. Unfortunately, that part of the game got away from us. In the second half, we tried to tighten it up a little bit; better possessions, a little better defense. … Unfortunately, we didn’t do that tonight [for four quarters] but we did play a lot better in the second half.”
Goals: A — Nolan Krasnick 4, Brian Tarantino 2, Malcolm Jones 2, Jay Desmarais 1, Justin Ahmuty 1, Mason Meyerpeter 1, Corey Pumphrey 1, Alex Hudgins 1; OM — Joe Thompson 2, Alex Lee 1, Tyler May 1, Dallas Briggs 1, Papa Frempong 1