Eagles Soar Past Bobcats into the Bracket – 2A D14 Title Goes to Stoneman 6-5!

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photos by Seth Austin

Let’s get out of the way what I discussed on Morning Coffee today about the crowd issue.  If you missed it please go to our YouTube channel and hear what I had to say about a few parents that need to learn what this sport is and isn’t.  It was a big crowd, too bad a few had to tarnish the atmosphere.

Now on to the game itself, which SHOULD be the focus.

This was certainly an intense, fun game to watch.  That does not mean it was a well-played game because it wasn’t.  This is the first time in 5 years that I covered a game played like this, where turnovers mounted and a team dominated statistically so much without winning comfortably.

50 Turnovers.  FIFTY.

Sometimes getting so jacked up for a game hurts instead of hinders.  Last night was a pretty good example of that.  Gripping the stick too tightly is a hockey term when a team is struggling to score and you try to make the perfect play instead of the normal play and we got the lacrosse equivalent of that.  Nothing showed that more than Boca Raton’s shooting last night.  SEVEN shots on goal by my count on 22 attempts.  Remarkably, 5 of the 7 hit the back of the net . . . which shows how the result could have been different.

Stoneman hit the net on 18 of 28 and Barrett Joy kept Boca in the game early when Stoneman could have blown it open.  In fact, midway through the 3rd quarter I was starting to wonder if we were going to have a 3-2 OT finish, after about 4 OT periods, because no one was getting a good look by then.

I can easily praise the defenses on both teams but that wasn’t really the case as both offenses made the job easy, running into double and even triple teams.  Probably another casualty of being so hyped up.

Both of these teams showed growing pains all season long.  Stoneman is young and I went to the STA game and they got physically pushed around there.  Boca had some nice efforts against top schools but only took one of those over King’s.  These are two teams kind of on the middle of the see-saw and we will see how they respond over the summer.  Stick skills should be at the top of the practice agenda.

Going into the game this was for a District title and bragging rights since the schools are not far apart, geographically and demographically.  There was always a bigger issue ahead in the form of the Jupiter Warriors and neither of them are getting past that hurdle this year.

The game itself was a tale of three runs, the 1st quarter where Stoneman broke through twice, then the 16-minute run during the 2nd and 3rd quarters where Boca ran off 4 goals on 5 shots on goal, and with 2 minutes to play in the third they looked in control but Stoneman scored twice in the last minute for 4-4.  Stoneman took advantage in the 4th with two goals only to see Boca climb to one back, but then shot themselves in the foot with 1 for 9 shooting and ten 4th quarter turnovers.  Stoneman somehow kept them in the game but finally ran out the clock at the end.

Preston Gerena opened the scoring for SD at 5:41 of the first as he took the left wing pass from Austin Horwitz on the low left and hit the high short side for 1-0 and then it was Jordan Sullivan taking the middle pass on left wing and bouncing a shot high to the left corner for 2-0 at 3:19 to end the quarter.

Tristan Haikonen found Grayson Caffrey on the crease from behind for Boca to make it 2-1 with 4:18 to go and less than two minutes later it was tied at 2 as Brendan Myers cut down the middle, drew the slide and found Holden Elder on the right wing for the left hand shot to the low left to send the game to halftime.

After killing off a two-man penalty, Elder gave Boca the lead at 4:21 of the 3rd as Trevor Buffone found him on right wing from up top for a similarly placed shot.  Haikonen then finished off the run with a goal in the middle for 4-2 with 2:19 left.  Sullivan found a loose ball off a rebound in front and maneuvered through a few reaching sticks to get alone in front for the high finish with 54 seconds left for 4-3 and then it was Sullivan tying it on EMO with 20 seconds left as Ty Stevens found him on top left from right GLE for the step down to the top right of the cage.

Darren Edenbaum gave Stoneman the lead back at 8:59 unassisted as he picked off a clearing pas on the ride and finished all alone in front.  Then long pole Ryan Deck made the play of the game as he dashed three-quarters of the field, splitting a few defenders, and hitting low with 3:52 to go, giving the Eagles the two-goal lead.  That didn’t last long as 7 seconds later it was Chris Testa cleanly winning the next faceoff and finding Haikonen on the left side for the low step down shot to draw Boca within one, but then the shooting let down the Bobcats and Stoneman finally ran out the clock in the last minute to seal the game.

Seniors, thanks for all the hard work and good luck with your futures!  Returning players, hit the wall . . . that advice is usually given all the time anyway but redouble the efforts this summer.

Here’s Stoneman HC Nathan Snitz after the game:

Stoneman Douglas HC Nathan Snitz on their District Championship – YouTube

Team Statistics

Faceoffs:  Boca Raton 9-6

Shots:  Stoneman 28-22

Shots on Goal:  Stoneman 18-7

Turnovers:  Boca Raton 30-20

Penalties: Boca Raton 6-4

Individual Statistics

Stoneman

Jordan Sullivan  3G

Preston Gerena, Darren Edenbaum and Ryan Deck with 1G each

Austin Horwitz  2A

Ty Stevens  1A

Brandon Marsh with 2 saves

Boca Raton

Tristan Haikonen  2G/1A

Holden Elder  2G

Grayson Caffrey  1G

Trevor Buffone, Brendan Myers and Chris Testa with 1A each

Barrett Joy with 12 saves

Thanks to Coach Snitz and Coach Alfano for talking to me before and after the game