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#2 STA Uses 4-0 First Quarter to Defeat #12 Lake Mary 10-7

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
  So many factors go into deciding a lacrosse game between two excellent teams.  Mostly a couple of differences add up over time. Yesterday it was pretty simple . . . one team got out to an early lead and the other spent the rest of the game trying to chase them down. And never could quite catch up. For the first time all season, the hot weather came out.  And it did have some effect, but not much.  Probably good for both teams as the unseasonably cool year has kept players across the state fresh during games. A number of Lake Mary fans made the lengthy trip south and I noted a few t-shirts in the crowd signaling last year’s accomplishment by the Rams . . . the Final Four and the #4 ranking . . . did they get that from my rankings?  If so, someone owes me a burger and a Gatorade at a game . . . The game itself was a true contrast in styles.  STA’s athleticism caused a lot of problems for LM when LM was on offense.  LM’s team defense played an excellent game and their offense continued to grind away, finding some holes in STA’s interior as the game went on.  ALL of STA’s goals were unassisted as they were able to win enough of the one-on-one battles down low to make the difference. And there was one thing else that really stood out.  LM’s faceoff approach was really good.  Unlike most top faceoff teams that rely on a superior FOGO, LM’s 3-man package really knows how to play together and they won that key battle 13-7, something I am not accustomed to seeing at a St.Thomas game.  Shiloh Shassian did win his fair share outright but the wings really positioned themselves well and many of the wins were off that positioning. STA did look a little sluggish, probably because of the previous day’s Good Friday / Catholic School not practicing tandem but LM’s team efforts certainly helped in that quite a bit too.  I witnessed this game last year too and both teams lost top end talent and that wasn’t helped by each team suffering a crippling early season injury as LM’s Alex Forehand and STA’s Noah Cash have both missed the entire season . . . and they were quite possibly going to be matched against each other if healthy. This was a game that you can watch again . . . very crisp, individual talents and team play.  Strategic changes within the game and solid goal-tending. But as so often happens, one statistic really stood out . . . and it did seem to make the difference. STA shot 22 times and hit the cage on 18 of them while LM shot 34 times and hit the cage 16 times. Ball game.   Two very solid efforts. As always, only one winner. But leaving you with wanting more.  Too bad they can only meet again in this season in the championship game . . . Something to shoot for.   STA opened the scoring with two Kevin Crowley goals within 51 seconds of each other.  At 9:56 he started off left GLE and moved up the alley before spinning right and finishing with with right hand between the legs of LM goalie Jake Lerch, a shot I’ve witnesses a number of times this season.  Then at 9:05 he started left behind and split the defense, working towards the crease and his right hand hit the far side.  Sam Khalil made it 3-0 at 6:02 as he picked up a loose ball off a rebound on the right side and he basically had an open net to fire into.  Then with 2:46 left joey Guglielmo dodged into the middle from the top right wing and his bounce shot kicked high into the net to make it 4-0 after one. Lake Mary cut into the lead at 10:07 as Kyle Sande scored on EMO as he finished off a left wing face dodge with the right hand to the top right corner for 4-1.  Louie Yovino regained the 4-goal lead at 4:56 as he face-dodged off the right wing towards GLE, then to the cage as his left-hand hit the top-left corner but LM’s Sande made it 5-2 at the half with a solo effort, starting up top, working down the middle and then the left alley before finishing in the top short side at 3:38. The second half was pretty much cat and mouse, with each responding to the other.  The teams traded goals, with STA continually going up four before LM narrowed to three, but LM was never able to cut further until the final two minutes and STA was able to hold off any further challenge. At 9:07 of the third Khalil curled out from right behind to the crease area and finished low, followed 30 seconds later by Grant Sousley finishing a Tyeler Castillo feed from in front with a one-timer.  Then at 5:14 Crowley curled from behind left and found the far middle, only to be answered with 57 seconds left as Charlie Ragault took the Walker Mays feed on EMO on the right wing and his bullet hit the top right corner to make it 7-4 after three.  LM dominated the faceoffs in the second and third 7-1. Yovino regained the four-goal margin at 11:54 as he scooped up the loose ball at the circle and beat the defense to the cage and actually finished right-handed this time, drawing a penalty on the late hit.  But after killing the penalty LM got that back at 9:10 as Sousley took advantage of a fast break down the middle to hit the low left corner for 8-5.  Crowley answered at 4:16 as he worked the left wing and again used a spin move to score while falling down to make it 9-5, which looked like the final dagger the way the game was playing out.  But LM responded on another EMO at 2:05 as Ragault found Castillo all alone in the middle and his step down hit the low right corner for 9-6 and just 34 seconds later LM finally got within two as Ragault took a Mays feed in the middle and he spun left to finish high.  But STA’s faceoff team itself came alive in the fourth and they won enough to keep the run from continuing and Yovino was finally able to put the game away with 1:05 left as he curled out from behind right and his left hand found the top short side to make the final 10-7. Give me some more like this the rest of the way . . . STA is off until Thrusday when they face Top 10 foe Jupiter at home while Lake Mary prepares for the Florida/Georgia challenge next weekend with games against two top Georgia powers Centennial and Johns Creek, both of which I ranked or considered in teh latest IL Southeast Regional poll.  If you are looking for an event next weekend up north you should head on out. Bring a friend . . .   Team Statistics   Faceoffs:  LM  13-7 Shots:  LM  34-22 Shots on Goal:  STA  18-16 Turnovers:  LM  14-12 Penalties:  STA  5-3   Individual Statistics   STA Kevin Crowley  4G Louie Yovino  3G Sam Khalil  2G Joey Guglielmo  1G Michael Adler with 9 saves   Lake Mary Charlie Ragault  2G/1A Kyle Sande and Grant Sousley  2G each Tyeler Castillo  1G/1A Walker Mays  2A Jake Lerch with 8 saves   Thanks to Coaches Terry Crowley and Garrick Robinson for speaking to me before and after the game