Skip to main content

SGR: Niceville Falls 12-5 to Fellowship Christian (GA)

via Submit Game Recap, by Harry Guthmuller

Scores by Quarter

Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 T

Niceville 0 2 1 2 5

Fellowship Christian 3 4 3 2 12

Leading Scorers per Team

FCA did not submit stats. Got theirs from game film

Leading Scores by Team

# 9 Jake Ryan 1G 2A
# 19 Gavin Gifford 2G
# 2 Jackson Kane 1G 1A
# 14 Corbin Mountain 1G

Fellowship Christian:
# 4 Elias McLaughlin 5G
# 14 Noah Flacon 2G
# 3 Graham Ferraro 1G
# 5 Ryan Marsh 1G
# 15 Patrick Fischer 1G
# 37 Will Jaroszewski 1G

Goalies and Number of Saves

#53 Rhett Thorson (Sr): 13 saves on 25 shots on goal

Fellowship Christian :
#0 Grant Mauldin: 8 saves on 13 shots on goal

Noteworthy events during game

Eagles Endure Tough Loss to Georgia’s #10 Lacrosse Team

By Harry Guthmuller
April 1, 2023

Friday night the Niceville Eagles boys lacrosse team took on the year’s toughest opponent, Georgia’s #10 ranked Fellowship Christian Paladins from Roswell, Ga. While the Eagles ended up on the losing side of the score the loss is likely to propel them to success in the upcoming District playoffs.

The first quarter saw the Paladins score three times and place defensive pressure on the Eagles unlike anything they have seen this season. Eagle attempts to clear the ball from its own defensive zone were frequently turned away and unforced turnovers kept the Eagles from getting its first shot on goal until 2 minutes remained in the quarter. The first quarter ended with the Paladins up 3-0. Paladin Noah Falcon (#14) had two goals in the quarter.

Eagle midfielder Corbin Mountain (#14) got Niceville on the scoreboard early in the second quarter with a close-in score from the Paladin crease. The Paladins would answer with 4 goals of their own in the quarter before Niceville’s Gavin Gifford (#19) scored the first of his two goals. Niceville would go into halftime down 2-7 but they had been down at halftime before.

The third quarter would see the Paladin’s super sophomore, Elias McLaughlin (#4), score 3 of his 5 goals and Niceville’s Jackson Kane (#2) would score to make it 10-3 Fellowship Christian at the end of the third quarter. Given the talent displayed by the Paladins it wouldn’t have been surprising to see the Eagles get discouraged but they played the entire game like a team that never expected to lose. It was a great display of character on the part of the Eagles players and coaches.

The fourth quarter saw a fired-up Niceville team scoring two goals (#19 Gifford/#9 Ryan) but the Paladins matched it with two scores of their own. In the end the Paladins prevailed 12-5.

Something worthy of mentioning was the sportsmanship displayed by both teams. In the first half Niceville’s Gavin Gifford was knocked into the Paladin goalie on a scoring attempt. It’s not uncommon to see the goalie’s defensemen rough up anyone who seemingly abuses their goalie but in this case Gifford was pushed into the goalie by a Paladin defensemen. Nevertheless, Gifford let the goalie know the contact was unintentional and the Paladin players responded with the appropriate decorum. In the fourth quarter, Gifford would go down from leg cramps and the first player to assist him was the Paladin goalie! Even better was that the Paladin fans, who had traveled from Roswell, Ga were as much a class act as were their players on the field.

To many who saw the game the experience Niceville gained, and lessons learned by playing an extremely talented and well coached team will serve the Eagles well in their last two games of the season and the District playoffs that follow. The old saying that “sometimes you have to lose in order to get better” surely applies to this game for the Eagles.

Niceville now stands at 10-2 for the season with both losses coming against teams from Georgia. On Monday night the Eagles take on Leon High School in Tallahassee. The result of that game will determine the seedings for the District playoffs as well as “bragging rights” as the best team in the Florida panhandle. Niceville’s last regular season game will be against Destin High School on Wednesday, April 5.

Going into Saturday’s games the state rankings had Leon at #24, Pensacola Catholic at #25 and Niceville at #35. However, Pensacola Catholic lost to Gulf Breeze on Friday by two goals (8-10) and Leon lost the first of two games played this Saturday. Leon lost in double overtime to Forest (12-13) but then beat Trinity Catholic by the close score of 9-8. Niceville’s ranking may improve because of these two losses.

Needless to say, the Niceville versus Leon lacrosse game is bound to be something worth seeing in person or on the NFHS Network online.