One of the great rivalries over the years in the Southeast played their latest chapter last night in Boca Raton, and the Scots used a stifling defense while converting enough offensive chances to come away with a hard-earned 9-4 win. Surprisingly for two teams that are known for ball possession, the game featured a lot of turnovers, many unforced, as the early season kinks still need to be worked out.
Jupiter came into the game off three impressive wins, holding King’s Academy, Saint John Paul and St. Edward’s to a total of 10 goals, with their young offense contributing the necessary scoring. Saint Andrew’s defense and ride pressed out fully and kept the Jupiter offense from gaining rhythm, and the Warriors were not able to fully recover.
Saint Andrew’s, seeking their third consecutive 1A state title, opened with a big win over NSU-University School, so this was their first test of the season. Besides the turnover issues, both teams were whistled numerous times for faceoff violations, as the rule interpretations came into play. This clearly hurt the Warriors, as their new FOGO, Dylan Furshman, was expected to be a difference maker in this game. Facing him was both Beck Trafton, a transfer himself, and Ethan Sands, as SA went with different looks. In the first three quarters, the faceoff battle was pretty much even statistically, and the Scots were able to dodge that bullet. It won’t happen often.
Where the turnovers really hurt was in Jupiter’s transition game, as many of the turnovers were unforced during the clear. SA outshot the Warriors 32-19 in attempts, and by my count, 21-11 on target. Both team’s goalies (SA split halves) played excellent games as Kaden Creps had a 57% save percentage, while SA’s Ryan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan (no relationship) combined for 63%. I don’t keep posts/crossbars as saves, so the shooters actually were under that.
Jack Schulte showed his game is in mid-season form, leading all players with 3G/1A, and controlling tempo behind the net. Connor Hofbauer chipped in two goals for the Scots, as they also spread out their offense with 4 more goal scorers. Four Jupiter Warriors scored a goal each.
A nice moment occurred in the fourth quarter, as Hofbauer cramped up, only to be stretched out by Jupiter captain AK Druhot. A fine example of #RespectTheGame and #HonorTheGame.
Early season games between two top teams can easily play out like this, as they are still working on scheme and learning to play with each other, and the turnover numbers will come down shortly. Many times, a game has an easy way to look at an outcome, and this is one. SA’s defense took Jupiter’s offense out of sync and took advantage of enough chances. Since they are in different classes, that will be it until next season’s chapter, and both teams came away knowing something more about themselves.
For the Scots, another championship run is in the crosshairs, while Jupiter will look forward to April, when their likely showdown with St. Thomas in a regional final awaits. The season is off and running!
Schulte opened the scoring at 10:29 for SA, curling from behind right and finishing low. 30 seconds later it was Shovan Eriksson up top, spinning left and firing left-hand to the low left of the cage for 2-0. At 8:13 it was Hofbauer face-dodging from the left wing towards the cage and finishing with an excellent low to high shot into the top right corner for 3-0. Jupiter’s Jackson Christ answered 35 seconds later as he faked a shot, dodged to his right on the left wing, and shot low for 3-1. Schulte made it 4-1 after one, as he finished a fast break dash down the right alley, hitting the top left with 22 seconds to go.
SA extended quickly in the 2nd, as Schulte finished a rebound off the right GLE just 17 seconds into the period for 5-1, and at 8:09 it was Moses Perry taking the Schulte feed from behind for the step down from up top for the 6-1 lead. Christian Carrigan got one back 27 seconds later, taking the Sean Myers feed from right wing on top left for a rocket to low left for 6-2, but Caleb Fox went from midfield to goal, splitting a few defenders and finishing with a high backhand for 7-2 at 5:45, and that’s the way the half ended.
SA scored both of the 3rd quarter goals late in the quarter, Hofbauer unassisted and Nick Testa taking the Leyton Zorumski feed all alone on the crease. Jupiter got two quick goals to open the 4th, Dustin Sluzka wiring to top left and Matthew Sofarelli finding Myers all alone on the crease from top left to make it 9-4, but SA was able to run clock and the game finished at 9-4.
SA is back in action on Saturday, as they travel to Tampa to play Plant at Tampa U., while Jupiter travels Friday to Martin County.
Faceoffs: Jupiter 10-6 (a few non-faceoffs after goals)
Shots: SA 32-19
Shots on Goal: SA 21-11
Turnovers: I’ll be discrete on this one
Penalties: SA 7-4
Jack Shulte 3G/1A
Connor Hofbauer 2G
Shovan Eriksson, Moses Perry, Caleb Fox and Nick Testa with 1G each
Leyton Zorumski 1A
Ryan Kaplan and Robert Kaplan combined for 7 saves
Sean Myers 1G/1A
Jackson Christ, Christian Carrigan and Dustin Sluzka with 1G each
Matthew Sofarelli 1A
Kaden Creps with 12 saves
Thanks to Coach Seamen and Coach Sofarelli for talking to me before and after the game!