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Lake Brantley Pulls Away From Lake Mary 11-6

Written by Lee Roggenburg on . Posted in .
Lake Brantley hosted the first round play-off game between these two Seminole county rivals.  These are two solid teams with great records coming into the game.  Lake Mary at 15-6 had played a tougher schedule of the two, Lake Brantley at 17-2 had put up tons of scoring throughout the season and shown great defense. Lake Brantley got the scoring going early on a goal by Tim Gehlbach and a second by Matt Layden.   With 4:25 left in the first Lake Brantley had a two goal lead and, although it was only a two goal game, they were clearly in charge. Throughout the rest of the quarter Lake Brantley was keeping up the pressure.  The Patriots used long possessions with lots of ball movement while not wasting time, constantly threatening.  Sophomore Chandler Harrison looked great in the goal but for Lake Mary but the Rams were struggling with the clear. He made some great saves and nice outlets only to have the Patriots coming right back at him.  Several times in the first quarter the Rams would get the ball down field but in the face of a wall of defenders they would make an ill-advised quick shot and be right back on defense. With 1:29 remaining in the quarter the Rams managed to clear the ball but a quick shot right into Grant Bergeron’s stick ended up as a quick outlet to Tim Gehlbach.  Gehlbach quickly found Sam Rock running straight down the middle of the field.  A quick stick fake helped him split the defense and it was 3-0 Patriots. Lake Mary learned, as many teams have this season, that Lake Brantley loves to score goals with short time on the clock.  A couple of great saves in the final minute kept the game tight but with 2.1 seconds  left in the first Matt Layden scored his second goal of the evening to make it 4-0 Patriots. The second quarter started better for Lake Mary.  Brantley’s Caleb Ross is lightning fast and is a terror at the face off X but Lake Mary won the second quarter opener and had solid possession to start the second quarter.  But the Rams came away empty handed.  The difference in the two team’s ability to clear the ball was evident as Bergeron outletted the ball to Gehlbach and he simply ran down the field as the Lake Mary players were rightfully, rightfully, more concerned with avoided transition goals than hard rides. With 8:56 left in the second quarter Lake Mary drew a flag and had their first EMO opportunity.  Cole Lindquist, who had been covered up to this point, got the feed from Carter Gile and let a 15 yard shot fly just under the cross bar to get he and the Rams on the board.  The tables turned with 5:31 remaining as the Rams were flagged for a slash and the Patriots got their EMO team on the field.  Jared Bernhardt showed he can shoot with power as he beat Harrison stick side high from the wing area to get the spread back to 4 goals. Lake Mary started to improve the clears and began to take a little better care of the ball at this point.  They still struggled to get good looks at the goal, but were at least able to take some pressure off of the defense with some longer offensive possessions.  It was a close four goal game at this point but one never got the feeling that the Rams had truly threatened yet. With 4:26 left in the first half Josh Marmetshcke did more than threaten, he potted a goal to make it 5-2 and give some life back to his team. With only seconds left in the half Lake Brantley committed a slash and the Rams held the ball as the horn sounded to give them possession at the opening of the second half.  This was an enormous opportunity that they were unable to capitalize on.  As good as Caleb Ross was at the face off X the possessions were critical.  Especially man up possessions.  However, the Patriots defense stayed aggressive and got the ball on the ground once during the man up and eventually forced a turnover as time expired on the penalty.  The outlet went to Gehlbach once again and began a two minute long possession for the Patriots which ended with another Tim Gehlbach score. With 8:14 left in the half Lake Mary sophomore James Duhon pushed the ball up from X and exposed the only little weakness in this Lake Brantley defense.  He scored the third Lake Mary goal pushing the ball up and shooting a quick low to hide fade, making it 6-3. Kevin Sande won a fast break off of the next face off for Lake Mary and for a moment it looked like the momentum was going to turn.   The Rams settled into a solid possession and ended up drawing a flag with 5:00 minutes left in the third. However, they were unable to convert on the EMO and after a two and a half minutes of high quality back and forth lacrosse Lake Brantley senior middie Patrick Clark made it 7-3. But Lake Mary’s sophomore middie, Cannon Thompson, took a page out of Duhon’s play book and took the ball to X.  He drove north and as he crossed the GLE made a great fade away shot to bring the difference back to 3, making it 7-4. As usual, when the time got short in the quarter Lake Brantley was going full tilt.  Harrison made a huge save on a Jared Bernhardt shot with: 35 left in the third.  But Lake Brantley doesn’t stop and 14.5 seconds later Gehlbach drives down the right alley and puts one past to make it an 8-4 game with only 20.5 seconds remaining in the quarter. But that is not the end of the quarter and Bernhardt scores a back breaker with only .3 seconds remaining in the third to make it 9-4.  He drove from X and caught the Lake Mary defensive relaxing just a little bit and ripped a high to high left handed fade away shot that beat Harrison to give the Patriots the largest lead of the game. With ten minutes left in the game Cannon Thompson repeated his move from X and buried another shot past Bergeron for the Ram’s fifth goal. Four and a half minutes later Justin Layden would feed Bernhard for Lake Brantley’s 10th goal.  Then, in the closing minutes of the game, Cole Lindquist and Matt Layden would trade EMO goals. One of the keys to this Lake Brantley victory was their ability to hold one of Central Florida’s best goal scorers to two EMO goals.  Lake Brantley coach, Brian Theiss, said, “Hey, We know what type of shooter Cole is.  He has an outstanding shot.  So we game planned against him. We didn’t want to give him too much room.  There were times when we shut him off, but on Man Up, obviously, we can’t do that.   We had to rotate and I think we missed our assignments a couple of times and if you make a mistake he’s going to make you pay every time.” When asked about the big night by Matt Layden he responded, “Matt is that guy out there; he’s that senior who has been the guy for the last two years.  He was our leading scorer on the attack last year and now he has been more of the assist guy this year.  He knows when he is making good passes and not trying to go to the too hard every time, he is seeing the open guys we are getting goals.” The final – Lake Brantley 11 – Lake Mary 6.    Lake Brantley will face Lake Highland Prep on Friday night.  The game will be televised live on Bright House Sports Network.