Lake Highland Upends Saint Andrews – Updated with Video Link

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Above – Alex Heatzig goes head over heels in a game where both teams gave all they had – Photo courtesy of Enstone Images

Jackson Colling (24) had a huge night as the Sophomore scored 6 - photo by Pete Vining
Jackson Colling (24) had a huge night as the Sophomore scored 6 – photo by Pete Vining

A huge crowd was on hand at Lake Highland Prep on Friday night to see the two teams who have filled the final two spots on the play-off bracket for the last four years.  The first two minutes of the game saw a long possession by Lake Highland. A shot and a save gave a quick transition opportunity to St. Andrews who tried the the five hole on Sawicki and the ball went right back down to the LHP end of the field until sophomore standout, Jackson Colling took it across the top and beat Poestzinger with a hard left handed shot 3:40 into the game to get LHP on the board first.

Lake Highland was going to have to play a little more defense than they have been accustomed to as they were missing the dominant face off work of Max Parker.  Parker missed the game due to illness and St. Andrews won the second face off.  But Griff Caligiuri and the LHP defense was up to the task and got a quick take away to send the ball back down to offense.  We saw some good back and forth for much of the first quarter.  Both teams were getting chances, but LHP had much more ball control, was riding better, and showed more energy in the early going.  The SA defense did a great job at nearly shutting down the attack unit of LHP, however, and forced them to work the ball through the top.

After Lake Highland won a ground ball in front of Sawicki and headed down field for a transition the whistle blew for an illegal screen.   Senior middie Ben Kennedy quickly grabbed the ball and took advantage of the quick whistle as he fired a pass inside to Zach Schwartz to tie the game at one each.

Connor Poetzinger defends the goal as Kyle Richbourg pushes the action - Pete Vining
Connor Poetzinger defends the goal as Kyle Richbourg pushes the action – Pete Vining

With just over six minutes gone in the first quarter Jackson Colling made it two for two on shooting with an insane low to high shot to give the lead back to LHP.  St Andrews took the ball off of the ensuing face off and settled down for a long offensive possession. But stifling defense from the Highlanders kept them from gaining an high quality shots.  A Sawicki save got the ball back for Lake Highland and another solid possession with good ball movement was finished with the hat trick for the young Jackson Colling as he ripped one right handed on an alley dodge under the cross bar to give LHP a 3-1 lead.

Jake Legates came back for SA on a quick possession and found the five hole to bring the Scots to within one with 2:17 left in the first.  1:17 later, Alex Heatzig tied it up.

At the end of the first quarter it had been solid shooting and capitalizing on transition opportunities that had SA tied up.  Time of possession, ground balls, better riding, and more threatening settled offense had favored LHP, but it didn’t matter as we were all tied up.

A face off procedure call gave the rock to LHP to start the second and they held it for the first 2:35 until Reid Thedford dodged down the right alley to shoot and score. Fifteen seconds later Jackson Colling dodged left and scored his fourth of the night.  LHP continued with long possessions moving the ball non stop.  It appeared to be wearing down the SA defense.  SA attempted a few quick strikes but would end up giving the ball right back with some high risk feeds or high shots.

St. Andrews Cole Mulligan moves the ball.
St. Andrews Cole Mulligan moves the ball.

After a Lake Highland time out SA came out in a zone defense.  LHP did a great job of breaking it down and ended up with a flurry of shots as Poetzinger made multiple saves within seconds of one another.  Finally, a lose ball from a rebound was picked up and moved to the hot shooter, Jackson Colling, who netted his fifth of the evening only 5:05 into the second quarter.  But SA and their quick strikes would not allow LHP to sit on a 6-3 lead for long.

The Scots came right back with two quick goals only a minute apart from Brandt Guldin and Addison Lutes to make it 6-5 and another to tie it up at 6 when Jake Bargas scored with the long pole.  With 3:20 left in the half a huge collision left Kyle Richbourg on the turf and SA with a 3 minute non-releasable penalty for targeting.  Bargas and the SA defense proved up to the task by killing the three minute penalty and keeping SA in the game.  LHP had few shots over the three minute period and only two on goal.  That was a huge penalty kill for SA.

The second half continued much like the first.  The Scots got the ball off of he opening face off and ran a quick offensive set but turned it over on a shot in :45 seconds.  Their next possession saw a dominant Griff Caligiuri get his second take away of the game and back to LHP.  Thedford got the ball and moved to the low wing where he used a nice inside roll and finish to get his second goal of the night with 3:00 gone in the third quarter.

Throughout the third it was obvious that both teams had D-poles that had come to play.  Griff Caligiuri was working on Zach Schwartz and Jake Bargas was getting the job done against Kyle Richbourg.  The offenses responded with LHP getting the job done with some great offensive middie play and SA using the transition.  Both teams ended up getting more than just great defense from their big guys, Caligiuri made the move of the night with an nifty inside move and an underhanded shot that needs to be seen to be believed (See the great video here courtesy of Pete Werner ).  He also drew

Griff Caligiuri Celebrates His Score LHP vs St Andrews 2014 - Photo courtesy of Enstone Images
Griff Caligiuri Celebrates His Score LHP vs St Andrews 2014 – Photo courtesy of Enstone Images

the flag for a late hit on the play.

St. Andrews came out to begin the fourth quarter with a solid possession and Zach Schwartz was able to cap it off with a goal 2:04 into the last quarter to close the gap to 8-8.

Adam Sawicki came up huge a few times, making an enormous save on a point blanck shot from SA that would have tied it up at the 7:00 mark of the fourth.  After that save the LHP offense went on a relentless attack that saw Poetzinger making multiple saves until Jackson Colling did it again, finding the net for goal number six on the evening to give the Highlanders a two goal lead with six minutes remaining.

Jake Bargas, looking for his second goal of the evening, got the ball and pushed it right down the middle and fired a shot that Sawicki was somehow able to turn away.  As LHP attempted to

Poetzinger makes a save
Jackson Colling scores one of his 6 gaols- Photo courtesy of Enstone Images

clear St Andrews forced the turnover and got the got the ball right back to Bargas again who did not miss on his second opportunity and brought SA to within one at 9-8.

In the closing minutes things got exciting as LHP tried to run out the clock but SA forced a turnover with 2:04 remaining.  But relentless defense got the ball back to LHP and they did succeed in running out the clock on the Scots.

SA plays Lake Mary on Saturday and LHP will take on The First Academy in the last regular season district game for them, also on Saturday.