After playing in the first varsity lacrosse game of his Marriotts Ridge career, Troy Hensh can already add “game-winner” to his résumé.
With just over two minutes remaining in a tie matchup against Atholton Friday night, Hensh streaked in front of the crease, collected a pass as the defense collapsed and tallied what would ultimately be his club’s go-ahead goal.
“It was one of those dream goals,” said the sophomore, whose visiting Mustangs defeated the Raiders, 6-5, in the season opener. “I really didn’t think it was going to be enough, but then our defense came up and got great stops.”
Throughout the contest, Marriotts Ridge was forced to do the majority of its work from behind. “It was ugly, but our guys played really hard, and that’s all I can ask of them right now,” Marriotts Ridge coach Tony Incontrera said.
In the opening frame, Sam Smith and Tyler Shams each collected scores to jump out to an early 2-0 Atholton lead.
“It’s the basics of offense. When the guys are patient, and they get the right looks, good things happen,” said Raiders coach Erik Burnett.
The Mustangs (1-0) finally got on the board when midfielder Patrick Clipp snuck from behind the goal for a wraparound shot just over two minutes into the quarter.
Yet, three minutes later, Shams notched his second goal of the night, firing a rocket shot that skidded past goalie Chris McTague (6 saves).
With four minutes remaining, the Mustangs began their ascent back into contention. It started with Jack Grote pass to Sam McCoy, who faded to his left as he scored his squad’s second goal of the quarter.
Then, nearly two minutes later, Eric Skogmo collected a ground ball and raced up the center of the field. The junior long pole broke through a few Atholton defenders and found Grote in front of the crease for the goal, knotting up the score at 3-3 heading into halftime.
Atholton (0-1) came out of the break in a hurry, finally pulling ahead again when Scott Brown found Ryan McHugh to his left for the team’s fourth goal of the game.
Then, Marriotts Ridge’s Mak Kennedy hit Austin Dorsey with a pass, allowing the senior midfielder to rear back for the goal that, once again, tied things up. Nearly 10 seconds later, however, Atholton’s Shams completed the hat trick and put his squad ahead entering the game’s final 12 minutes. It was the last time the Raiders would find the back of the net.
With 5:45 remaining in the game, Grant Hanlon broke away from the Atholton defense, and found his Mustang teammate Kennedy, who bested goalie Andrew Seidel (11 saves) for the game-tying goal.
Three minutes later, Hensh’s score gave his team its first lead of the game.
Incontrera called a timeout and debated whether the one-goal advantage would be enough to stop Atholton. But, the Mustangs regained possession, began killing the clock and ultimately secured the victory.
“Hats off to Atholton, they played their butts off too,” said Incontrera, who commended his players for starting the season off right. “The kids really dedicated themselves over the offseason…they earned this win.”
Burnett echoed his coaching counterpart when he said his team’s overall technique wasn’t as clean as he would have liked right out of the gates. Still, while there’s much to work on as the season progresses, the Atholton coach said there were no glaring mistakes that needed to be addressed.
“They don’t come a lot tougher than that. It’s always a good game when the other team brings its best,” he said. “Effort is not the issue. We just have to clean up the little things.”
Marriotts Ridge 6, Atholton 5
Goals: MR – Troy Hensh, Mak Kennedy, Jack Grote, Austin Dorsey, Patrick Clipp and Sam McCoy; A – Tyler Shams (3), Ryan McHugh and Sam Smith.
Assists: MR – Grote (2), Skogmo and Kennedy; A – McHugh, Scott Brown
Around the county
Mt. Hebron 13, Oakland Mills 3
Goals: MH – Brookhart 4, Stevens 3, Stone 2, Sutton 2, Watts, Dubois; OM – Neely 2, Riss.
Assists: MH – Brookhart, Sutton; OM – Neely.
Saves: MH – Dubois 7, Edmondson 1; OM – Ketchum 16.
Half: 6-2, Vikings.
Reservoir 15, Hammond 1
Goals – Re: Matt Marsh (4), Hans Wicklein (3), Cole Evans (3), Austin Mitchell (2), Max Schuster, Gary Cidre and Jackson Hill; Ha: Shane Strott.
Assists – Re: Schuster (5), Austin Mitchell (3), Hans Wicklein and Nick Carson.
Saves – Re: Trent Teodori 3, Smith 3; Ha: Ballard 19.
River Hill 12, Long Reach 1
Goals – RH: N/A; LR: Chris Yum.
Assists – RH: N/A; LR: Skylar Briscoe.
Saves – RH: N/A; LR: Anthony Valenza 20.