Determination and a tight defense couldn’t get the host varsity Oak Ridge lacrosse team in front of the Miramonte Matadors Saturday afternoon.
The boys fell on their home field 5-8 but coach Brad Speno didn’t see the game as a total loss.
“I thought we showed some good energy and good resilience out there,” he said. “Basically we had good second and third quarters and weak first and third quarters.”
Miramonte kicked in to high gear early with a goal in the cage over goalie Taylor McKay.
Oak Ridge tried to respond with a rocket shot from Cayd Rich and a wide shot from Cody Place but neither could connect. Austin Chang and Nick Gordon kept up the defensive pressure to keep Miramonte from scoring again while the Trojans tried to even it up but a Matador fake gave them their second goal.
Trojans Luke Hannemann and Josh Wellman had their chances to score. Hannemann’s sailed high and Wellman’s nailed a Matador on its way to the goal. A following battle for the ball led to a turnover in Miramonte’s favor and the Matadors netted their third goal before the end of the first quarter.
An equipment violation left the Trojans man down at the start of the second quarter. Miramonte tried a power play up the middle but Taylor blocked the shot. Oak Ridge’s offense kept the Matadors on the defense but a high pass gave it back to the visitors and they scored.
Wellman won the face off and a quick pass had Tyler Leone on the run. Pass errors led to a few possession changes before the ball found its way to Chase Webb who flicked his wrist and scored Oak Ridge’s first goal. The Trojans followed that up with another aggressive possession but Doug James lost the ball in the pocket. With two minutes left Miramonte found an opening and scored goal No. 5.
Oak Ridge defense went into overdrive and kept Miramonte from scoring any more before the half.
Oak Ridge goalie Kyle Bertotti took his place in the crease to start the second half. Tyler scored for Oak Ridge with an assist from James. The Trojans third goal came from a Matador when Leone tussled with an opponent near the crease and the unlucky Miramont player knocked the ball into his own goal.
Trojan Ethan Ackerman found an open alley to the goal about a minute later, making it 4-5.
Slowing down after the momentum shift Oak Ridge concentrated on its defense. Bertotti made a good save and Leone found himself face-to-face with a Matador near the sideline where they tangled, a play that had the Miramonte coach calling for a penalty. Wellman followed that up with a loose ball pick-up and a goal to tie the game 5-5.
Miramonte responded with two quick goals, deflating Oak Ridge’s confidence.
In the fourth the Trojans met stiff defense. Wellman’s first-seconds advance resulted in a tough check, ripping the ball and stick out of his hands. Miramonte lost a man to the penalty box after another rough check but Oak Ridge ran into goal block after goal block. The Trojans then went a man down when Gordon was called for unnecessary roughness but Miramonte had to call a timeout when they didn’t have enough players on the field.
Luck didn’t stay on Oak Ridge’s side when the Mats came back. On their third attempt, a back door shot sailed past Bertotti. Passing errors and aggressive Matador defense kept Oak ridge from breaching the crease for the remainder of the game.
The Oak Ridge JV squad also fell to Miramonte, 6-7.