Game of the Week

#19 Atherton Escapes #14 Ballard (9-8) - April 2022 - Week 2

After a week off for Spring Break, we return to the field for #19 Atherton vs #14 Ballard. What was going to be the home opener for the Lady Ravens, ended up being moved to Ballard due to the large amounts of rain that fell over the previous forty-eight hours prior to the start of the game.

#13 Lily Humble took advantage of the home field and got the Lady Bruins on the scoreboard first. Humble scored on the very first possession, the very first shot of the game. Within less than :30 into the game, it looked like this was going to be fully controlled by Ballard.

However, after both teams traded penalties, #20 Madison Handley found the net for Atherton and tied the game at 1-1. It would be the last time all night that the Lady Bruins had the lead. Less than 1:00 later, the Lady Ravens would catch Ballard in a substitution, giving Atherton an additional player for :15. That's all it took for #6 Emily Paul to give Atherton their first lead of the game at 2-1. They would never look back.

#20 Handley would add two additional goals over the next 3:00 to bring the score to 4-1 in favor of the Ravens, and complete the hat-trick just 13:00 into the game. The last three goals had all been shot at the exact same spot, the lower-left corner of the goal.

#23 Piper Von Almen was able to respond for the Lady Bruins and end the Atherton run with 7:34 to play until the half, but the Lady Ravens would continue to attack the goal. 

Not only would they keep attacking the goal, but the Atherton defense would continue to keep applying the pressure. Passing became an issue for Ballard, as the Atherton defense was a strong force that they were unable to overcome. Adjustments definitely needed to be made by the Ballard offense. The #19 Lady Ravens went into the half with a 7-2 lead over the #14 Lady Bruins, on the Bruin's own field.

The Lady Bruins came out of the half with the same powerful push that they had to start the game. #29 Lexie Reid made the score 7-3 a few minutes in. Less than 1:00 after that, #1 Sydney Taylor made it 7-4. The correct adjustments had been made, but the Lady Bruins were struggling with penalties. Not only that, but the Atherton defense was starting to play at their peak performance again. #20 Handley and #6 Paul added goals for Atherton to make the score 9-4 Lady Ravens with 17:12 to play. 

With a 9-4 lead, the Atherton Lady Ravens started to play soft and sloppy. The aggressive defense was gone, and the offense seemed to simply fade away. Shots were being taken, but going wide of the goal and just simply sloppy. #13 Humble added a goal for the Lady Bruins with 13:33 to play. Still, the Atherton defense just wasn't the same team that we saw earlier in the evening.

#29 Reid added another goal for Ballard with 8:53 to play. Reid brought the score to 9-6, still in favor of the Lady Ravens. With 6:42 to play, Atherton took a timeout. The Lady Bruins had now had control of the ball for the last 5:00. Atherton's sloppy defense continued... 

With 2:22 to play, the Lady Bruins had made the score 9-7. The Lady Ravens took a timeout. We entered the Atherton huddle during the timeout:

"All we need to do is stop them one time. No fast break; we need the defense to settle."

The Lady Ravens would not let the Lady Bruins get a fast break, but #1 Taylor would find #13 Humble to make it a one-goal game at 9-8 with :28 to play and get herself a hat-trick.

The Lady Ravens would win the next faceoff, hold the ball, and just barely escape a Ballard comeback. #19 Atherton defeated #14 Ballard by the final score of 9-8 to improve to 7-5 on the season. The Lady Ravens travel to #15 CAL (3-5) on Thursday, April 14th at 6:00pm. The Ballard Lady Bruins fall to 2-10 on the season and will travel to #3 Eastern on Friday, April 15th at 7:00pm 
 





Oldham County Lacrosse at Kentucky Country Day - March 2022 - Week 4

This week's Game of the Week takes us back to Michael Field on the campus of Kentucky Country Day in Louisville, Kentucky, as the #23 Oldham County Colonels took the field against the now #11 Kentucky Country Day Bearcats. With KCD approaching the Top 10, and Oldham County performing much better than their #23 ranking, we expected a battle until the end.

However, it didn't start off that way. Just over one minute into the game, the Bearcats found themselves with a 1-0 lead. Before we could even post the 1-0 score to our Twitter account, we saw #13 Lawson Cantley land the ball in the back of the Oldham County net for the Bearcats. It looked as though this was going to be a game completely controlled by the Bearcats. Even with only three substitutions on the sideline, early on, it looked like it was going to be all Bearcats.

But, #2 Issac Starr of Oldham County had different plans. Starr got the Colonels on the board with 4:43 remaining in the first quarter. #3 Matthew Bruner connected with Starr with 1:49 remaining in the first quarter to lock the game at 2-2. The Colonels were down early, but they quickly proved that they could hang with the #11 Bearcats after a few minor adjustments. 

The second quarter was full of great defensive play by the Colonels. #10 Ethan Dunigan even took a shot straight to the helmet, just feet after the ball was shot. Stop after stop was being made by the Oldham County defense and the Bearcats could not break them. That is, until the 6:22 mark when #13 Cantley scored again, giving the Bearcats the lead back at 3-2.

Less than two minutes later, #3 Bruner of Oldham County locked the score at 3-3. At this point, the defenses of both teams showed that they were tired. 1:00 later, the Bearcats were up 4-3; :30 after that, the score was locked at 4-4; :40 after that, #3 Bruner found the entire Bearcats defense napping, and gave Oldham County their very first lead of the game at 5-4. They would take that lead into the half. The KCD defense had stopped communicating with each other. The Bearcats were in shock that it was halftime and they were trailing a #23 ranked team. #17 Charlie Kircik tried to motivate his teammates at the half and call out the defense.

It definitely worked. The Bearcats' defense was simply a brick wall in the third quarter. However, the Oldham County defense came out just as strong. Halfway through the third quarter, we had not seen a single goal. It wasn't until there was only 2:23 remaining in the third quarter that we saw a goal. But, it wasn't your typical goal; #60 Scott Monteleone of Oldham County went to pass the ball back to his goalie, #14 Ashland Gourley, but it was tipped by a KCD player, and simply rolled into the goal. It was a heartbreaking goal for the Colonels' defense, and their focus could not be regained. The Bearcats would score three goals in the next 1:12, after being held to no goals at all for almost ten minutes of play. The Bearcats were alive, and the Colonels' defense was fading.


Trailing by the score of 8-5 with 12:00 to play, it was time for #2 Starr and #3 Bruner to go to work! The two brought the score to 8-7, while #14 Gourley and the Oldham County defense took care of business on the other side of the field. Gourley made numerous big saves to keep the Bearcats from adding to their lead. 

#14 Gourley and his defense were able to keep the Bearcats off the scoreboard for over ten minutes; but, after going down a man and giving KCD the advantage and momentum they needed, #13 Cantley found #2 Ryan Johnson, and the Bearcats took a 9-7 lead with only 1:30 to play. #1 Joby Pace was able to score for the Colonels with :16 to play, but after KCD won the next faceoff, the Colonels' chance of winning, or even getting the ball, was shattered. The #11 Bearcats claimed victory over the #23 Colonels, in what was a great defensive battle to the end.  


  



Ryle Lacrosse at Kentucky Country Day - March 2022 - Week 3


This week's Game of the Week takes us to Michael Field on the campus of Kentucky Country Day in Louisville, Kentucky, as the #13 Ryle Raiders took the field against the #15 Kentucky Country Day Bearcats. With both teams ranked in the Top 15 in the State of Kentucky and ranked so closely together, we knew we were in for a real battle. 

And, that is what we saw for the first 3:59 of play, as neither team was really able to gain control of the game. However, with 8:01 remaining in the first quarter, the Bearcats #13 Lawson Cantley broke the ice and put the Bearcats up 1-0. Just 0:41 later, #13 Cantley landed one in the back of the net again to put the Bearcats up 2-0. You could see the frustration on the Ryle sidelines as the Bearcats were now taking control of the game.

Adjustments were made by the Raiders, but they were moving very slowly. The Bearcats were able to capitalize on this and bring the score to 3-0 with 3:56 remaining in the first quarter, thanks to a goal by #23 Andrew Mainka. The Raiders then took a timeout. The coaching staff let the Raiders know that they were "walking on the field" instead of running, and "not playing to their full potential." Those statements were very true, but they didn't stop #2 Ryan Johnson from bringing the score to 4-0 in favor of KCD at the end of the first quarter.

Finally, 3:00 into the second quarter, the Raiders got on the scoreboard. #25 Carson French scored a goal as three Bearcats surrounded him. Finally, the Raiders fans had something to cheer about; but just 0:41 later, #22 Maxim Djurasovic found the net and brought the score to 5-1 in favor of KCD. The Raiders did not let that stop them from continuing to attack the KCD goal. The Raiders were moving the ball, communicating, and were simply a whole new team from what we saw in the first quarter. Again, we saw #25 French of Ryle with three Bearcat defenders on him, yet somehow able to get a shot off, and one that would bring the score to 5-2. The Raiders were down, but they were not out.

The remaining 6:00 of the second quarter were very physical. Both teams were attacking the ball. Players from both teams found themselves laying on the field after hard hits. It was no longer a game of sitting and watching the ball to see what the opponent was trying to do, it was both teams attacking the ball at all costs. This got the Bearcats into penalty trouble, opening the door for the Raiders' offense. The Bearcats found themselves leading 6-4 at the half. The Raiders had taken advantage of the Bearcats' penalties and outscored the Bearcats 4-2 in the second quarter, yet still trailed on the scoreboard thanks to their slow and unproductive start.

The teams traded goals in the third quarter. Again, #25 French of Ryle was able to get one by KCD goalie #25 Will Liggett to score his third goal of the game. With only 12:00 to play in the game, the game was far from over with a score of 7-5 in favor of the Bearcats.

The clock read 8:35 remaining in the game. Ryle's #32 Michael Lanier scored his second goal of the game to bring the Raiders within just one goal of tieing the game. The crowd was into the game, the Raiders were just one goal away from getting themselves out of that four-goal hole they found themselves in during the first quarter. But, just 0:10 later, the Bearcats would take the faceoff and go faceoff to goal and push their lead back up to two goals at 8-6.

The Ryle Raiders were not done. They refused to give up. With 8:45 remaining, they still had plenty of time to force overtime, or even get ahead on the scoreboard. The next 5:00 of play was very physical. Both #25 Will Liggett of KCD and #69 Garrett Seibert of Ryle, both had amazing saves to keep the score locked at 8-6 in favor of the Bearcats. But, #69 Seibert lost control of the ball just outside of the crease, turned the ball over, and it was an easy goal for Bearcats #1 Alex Bahe.

The Ryle Raiders momentum was gone. Their hopes of winning were quickly fading, and just about everyone in attendance knew the outcome was going to be a KCD victory.

The #15 Bearcats won the game by the final score of 9-6 over the #13 Ryle Raiders. KCD Bearcats Head Coach, John Collett celebrated his first victory as Bearcats Head Coach, improving their record to 1-1 on the season, after a loss to #6 Manual in week one. The Bearcats travel to Sayre on Friday, March 18th at 6:30pm, in what looks to be rather wet conditions. The now 2-2 Ryle Raiders are scheduled to travel to Walton-Verona on Monday, March 21st, as the two first-year programs fight for bragging rights. 
  




Cincinnati Bearcats Lacrosse vs Ohio State - March 2022 - Week 2


This week's Game of the Week takes us to the University of Cincinnati and Gettler Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio, as the #15 Ohio State Buckeyes took the field against the #19 Cincinnati Bearcats. With both teams ranked in the Top 20 (DI NCLL), we knew we were going to see a great game.

The Buckeyes came into this contest with an undefeated record of 5-0. With impressive wins over Kent State and Ohio University (just to name a couple), the Buckeyes came in as the favorite. The Buckeyes had just defeated the University of Louisville Cardinals by the score of 15-3 just ten minutes before the start of this game, on this very field. Even after playing a full game just moments prior, the Buckeyes were still the favorite as the two teams met at midfield for the faceoff.

The Buckeyes wasted no time getting on the scoreboard. #19 Cooper Durst got the Buckeyes up 1-0 early on. A fast break and a lack of defensive focus after the ball was turned over by the Bearcats, led to an opportunity that left Durst 1-on-1 with Cincinnati goalie, #1 Zach Bohn, resulting in a goal.

Shortly after that, Ohio State's #21 Brode White pierced the Bearcats' defense from afar. White had three Bearcats converge upon him as they saw him prepare to shoot. One was Cincinnati poll, #17 Brodie Stearn, but White simply overpowered Stearn, hitting his long stick out of his hand as he shot. White was able to keep his focus and his form exactly the same as three Bearcats approached. White put the Buckeyes up 2-0 early on in the contest.

The next nine minutes were full of amazing defensive play. Not just by the two defenses as a whole, but the amazing saves that were made at each cage. #55 Eddie Rice of Ohio State had the ball come inches from a Bearcats score multiple times, yet was able to gain possession or clear it multiple times. The goalies were on point, the defenses were working together as a whole, and the communication was some of the loudest and clearest that we had heard all day.

However, even with a man elbowing him in the chest as he shot, #21 Davis Hagler was able to sneak one past Buckeye, #55 Eddie Rice. The Buckeyes' defense was that tight! The fact that Hagler could only find the opportunity to shoot while a Buckeye was right up in his face, shows you why Ohio State came into this game 5-0.

Still up by the score of 2-1, the Buckeyes were able to add one more goal before time expired in the first half. Both teams went into the half feeling good. Both sidelines were still full of adrenaline. However, before either side could really calm down and start to focus on a second-half plan, the referee approached both teams and told them that severe weather was approaching. Both teams agreed to start the second half as soon as possible. 

Just two minutes into the halftime break, the teams found themselves headed back out onto the field to start the second half with the score of 3-1 in favor of Ohio State. #41 Raff Bagnato came in at goal for the Buckeyes. But, just over 5:00 into the second half, lightning brought the game to a halt. With 19:42 remaining in the game and strong storms moving in, the referee called the game an official win for the Buckeyes by the score of 3-1. With the game being over 5:00 into the second half, the majority of the game had been played.

The #15 Buckeyes improved to 6-0 on the season. They will face Kent State (who they have already defeated once this season) on March 20th at Ohio State.    


 



Atherton Boys Lacrosse vs Oldham County - March 2022 - Week 1


This week's Game of the Week takes us to Atherton High School in Louisville, Kentucky, as the Ravens hosted the Oldham County Colonels. With a key senior player out until April, we asked Ravens Head Coach, Tyler Kordesich what he thought we were going to see going into the season-opening game. Coach Kordesich told us, 

"I think you're going to see a lot of learning opportunities. 
The season is starting just two days into March, and I think 
this game is going to highlight what areas we really need 
to focus on in practice."

We would have to agree, that the game did do just that. It highlighted that the Ravens offense is the key thing that needs to be focused on in practice in the coming week. Not just the offense as a whole, but specifically passing and communication. The Ravens only shot the ball twice in the entire first half, landing one of those shots on goal. 
They could not pass the ball accurately, communicate clearly, or successfully run the designed plays that they were trying to execute. It wasn't until late in the third quarter that the Ravens were able to transition the ball down the field and actually rotate the ball around the goal to set up a designed play. Even with a two-man advantage in the third quarter and a two-minute non-releasable penalty against the Colonels, the Ravens still could not produce a goal thanks to poor passing.
It was this lack of offense that allowed the Colonels to shut out the Ravens by the score of 11-0 to start the 2022 season. Believe it or not, it wasn't the Ravens' lack of defense that lost them the game. Their defense is probably the strength of the Ravens. But, with the Colonels having possession of the ball for over 70% of the game, there are only so many attacks that the defense can take before the opponents' offense penetrates it and scores a goal. The Ravens' defense successfully killed multiple penalties where they were a man down, and had several takeaways throughout the game. But, just seconds after creating a turnover, the defense would find themselves back at work thanks to the Ravens mid-field and the offense not being able to do much other than turn the ball over themselves. An 11-0 loss is hard to take, but I really think that the Ravens' key to success in the coming weeks is going to be their ability to defend against strong teams and create turnovers. They just need the mid-field and offensive players to come up to their level of play in order to be successful or have a shot at winning.

The Atherton Ravens start the season 0-1, and the Oldham County Colonels went home as an undefeated team to start the 2022 season, at 1-0.