El Dorado Hills has a new sports team to root for — the EDHY JV Lacrosse Trojans.
Players completed tryouts and started practice three weeks ago. Lacrosse has grown tremendously in El Dorado Hills with more than 400 players on boys and girls teams in the El Dorado Hills Youth Lacrosse Club and high school teams. With the growth in the Under 15, U13 and U11 boys teams, a boys JV team was added this year with 22 players on the roster.
This team coached by Curtis Clevenger and assistants Frank Saitta, Rick Sanne and Ron Whitfield had its first game on Saturday, March 5, at Silva Valley School with last year’s league champion — the Pleasant Grove Blue team. The Trojans won with a score of 10-4.
The first middie line was anchored by Josh Clevenger and Shane Walker passing the ball to the attacks and creating scoring opportunities with their passing. Possession of the ball is key in LAX, as that gives the team multiple opportunities to score, and that was one of the strengths with Clevenger winning eight of nine faceoffs and multiple ground balls, while Walker scored one long power shot to the right corner.
In the sport of LAX movement of the ball, a hard rubber ball with a steel center just a bit smaller than a baseball, is key to scoring. The EDHY JV team had good movement around the goal from the middles to the attack players, opening opportunities for shots, which came in a flurry in the first two periods.
Attacker Preston Saitta had the first goal less than two minutes into the game and added three more finding the open shooting lanes for a total of four. Teammate attacker Tanner Rosenbaum playing out of the X position (behind the goal) distributed the ball to cutters getting one assist and scoring twice. The middle lines and attackers played well together with middle Nathan Whitfield scoring three times, once with an excellent fake pass while dodging toward the goal then shooting a hard shot to the lower left of the goal.
With so much scoring, you would think that was the key to this game, but the defense was where the strength of this team really showed. New goalie Tim Murphy had 19 saved shots out of 23. He was protected well by his veteran defense lead by Mack Edinger, Logan Sanne and Bailey Maberto, keeping Pleasant Grove scoreless until one minute left in the third period. There was a lot of hitting going on, but just two penalties for the EDH team while their opponent had more than eight.
After the end of the game, coach Siatta said, “I like the movement of the ball, the cutting and getting the attackers involved, and our defenses really showed up today, really having a strong game from our goalie. We definitely have many areas to improve, but with just three weeks of practice, we now can see we will compete in this league.”
The EDHY JV Lacrosse Trojans have 22 games this season, and a real tough opponent to play this week — Yuba City.