Season Off to a Great Start

  • Written by Gary Bamesberger
Season Opener - Falcon Comeback Stuns Bainbridge
The Woodinville High School Lacrosse Season opened March 10th with perennial powerhouse Bainbridge Island coming to town.   This non-divisional matchup would reveal much about early season predictions for both teams, especially for the Falcons.   Newly minted head coach Pete Crowley has awaited the chance to lead the Falcons and starting against Bainbridge was a clear challenge.
The game started with the excitement and attention of a late-season playoff match.    The stands were full and the sidelines ringed, but the Falcons came out flat.   Bainbridge opened the season the night before against Mt. Si and was not suffering first game jitters.   The Spartans picked up goals with mid-season form, elevating their attack and dropping their midfielders down to the goal.  The Falcons were slow to adapt, and their frustration showed as they picked up penalties early.   The Falcon defense closed down many Bainbridge opportunities, but Woodinville miscues on clears often gave the ball back to the Spartans.
DSC 1114Reid Rohrich #4 and Quinn Schreyer #31 provided stellar defense to shut down Bainbridge. (Photo by Amy McDowell)The teams went to the half with the Falcons down 4 to 2 in what was shaping up to be a game about the Falcon defense doing it’s best to shut down the high-flying Spartan offense.  Coach Crowley sat the boys down and delivered his first halftime sermon.   
Evidently, the Coach delivered the necessary motivation.  Kaden Fitzpatrick swiped the opening faceoff and scored in the first seconds of the second half.   Within two minutes, the Falcons had scored another two, and the stunned Bainbridge team found themselves behind.  The 3rd quarter became a back and forth closely fought classic as the teams tried to shake the other.  
The Spartans took advantage and took over, eventually padding their lead 9 to 6 late in the game.  Bainbridge began using up the remaining seconds with slow controlled play while their goalie thwarted several Woodinville shots.   The game was effectively over, and Bainbridge was already thinking of their happy ferry ride home.  The Falcons thought otherwise.  A sense of urgency surged through the Woodinville team, and Fitzpatrick again delivered the momentum swing.  The Falcons had to deal with crisp and constant stick checks from the Bainbridge defense all night.  The intensity of those slashes and jabs rose up in the last 3 minutes.  Fitzpatrick was determined and ran through the slashing sticks on a beeline for the goal.  Suddenly, Woodinville was only down by 2 as his shot sailed in.   Then within seconds, it was only by one.   The air was electric as the unthinkable comeback was nearly out of time.  But the unthinkable did happen.  As the game clock ran down, the boys evened the scored.
The sudden-death overtime was won by WHS on a score by Mason Leet.
March 13th Match - Falcons Down Juanita
Mason LeetMason Leet scored the winning goal in Sudden Death Overtime to lead the Falcons over Bainbridge. (Photo by Colleen Colley)The Boys hosted their second game at home against Juanita last Tuesday night.  And, much like their previous game, the Falcons started off slow and Juanita in this case, started off hot.  Halfway through the first quarter, the Falcons woke up to find themselves down 4 goals to zero.   The juniors on the attack picked up the pace for the Falcons; Mason Leet and Sam McDowell both scored to get the Falcons on the board with successive goals.   Then the stalwart Falcon Defense led by Jake Baillie got rolling.   The Rebels had 14 shots on goal in the first half of the game and only 7 the rest of the way.
The team battled through to find themselves down 6 to 4 at the half.   The boys had plenty of shots; they were just not getting them inside the pipes.   Kaden Fitzpatrick continued to dominate on faceoffs and the defense continued to show top-notch play in slowing the potent Juanita offense.  During the second half comeback, other Juniors played a key roll in scoring as Max VanWinkle and Eric Belanger both picked up two goals each and Logan Fitzpatrick picked up another.  Midway through the 4th quarter, Woodinville had taken the lead 9 to 7.  Juanita got their last score with over 4 minutes left, but the Falcons slowed the game down and Goalie Abdullah Bhurgri shut down the last shots to end the game.
While the game lacked big hits, plenty of players found themselves on the ground as the field play was aggressive.  Coach Crowley tipped his hat to his team for staying focused.  “If I had to say the one word that defined today’s game it would be composure.  The boys kept their composure in the face of adversity and that’s why we have another win tonight.”

Share this post

Submit to FacebookSubmit to Google PlusSubmit to Twitter