Outlaws lacrosse kicks off season with a win
Last updated 3/22/2022 at Noon
The Outlaws boys team opened their lacrosse season with a 8-5 victory at Ridgeview on Tuesday, March 15. On Thursday they suffered a 5-11 loss at Marist and on Saturday fell 6-7 at home to Glencoe.
In Tuesday’s action, Gaven Henry stole the show with two goals in the first half to put the Outlaws on top 2-0.
Henry scored again in the third period, along with Mason Sellers, but the Ravens responded with four goals to knot it up 4-4 to close out the quarter.
Henry continued to hit the mark, and scored another goal for the Outlaws in the final quarter, but unfortunately, the Ravens were relentless and scored a goal of their own to again even it up 5-5.
With the score tied and seven minutes left in the game, freshman Cooper Merrill scored to give Sisters a 6-5 lead. Merrill made a nice dodge move on his defender and put a shot-fake on the goalie before firing the ball into the net from close range.
In less than a minute, Max Palanuk scored to give the Outlaws a little breathing room and a two-point lead. Gus Patton put the cherry on top with the victory-assuring goal with two minutes left. Patton made a great catch, dodged his defender, and dashed down the middle for a close-range finish.
Ricky Huffman was a big contributor at the middie position and led the team with seven ground balls. Sisters won the ground-ball battle 43-32, and dominated the face-off battle (13-3) thanks to the efforts of Tanner Pease and Mason Sellers.
Coach Paul Patton said, “Our attack and middies worked well together on the ride getting the ball back after a change of possession. The defense didn’t see a ton of action on their end of the field, but were effective in limiting them to just 10 shots on goal.
“It was good to get a win in our first game, and we learned a lot about what we need to improve on,” added Patton. “An area we’ll need to clean up on before our next game is penalties. We spent six minutes playing with a man down due to fouls, and better teams will make us pay for that with goals against us.”
On Thursday, the Outlaws suffered a loss at Marist in a very physical game that was filled with penalties. Both teams spent eight minutes in the penalty box and often teams played with one to three men down.
At the half the Spartan held an 8-1 advantage. Sisters played better in the second half and outscored Marist 4-3, but it wasn’t enough to get the win.
Scoring was distributed among five different Outlaws, including Mason Sellers, Wyatt Maffey, Max Palanuk, Cooper Merrill, and Charlie Irlam. First-year senior player AJ Scholl played well in his first game as a defender.
“I was proud of our boys who, with one exception, kept their composure in the face of a physical and mouthy opponent,” said Patton.
Sisters wrapped up their week with a home contest against Glencoe on Saturday. The Outlaws played short-handed as they were down 10 players who missed due to spring break and injuries.
The Outlaws started strong and were up 6-3 in the third quarter. Glencoe scored with 12 seconds left in the period, when they scooped up a ground ball off a goalie deflection.
Sisters held the lead until midway through the final quarter. An Outlaws player got checked to the ground and another Outlaw retaliated, which resulted in a penalty. A second penalty quickly ensued against the Outlaws and immediately they were two men down. To make matters even worse, the Outlaws goalie was called for slashing, deemed intentional by the official. That call put the Outlaws three men down, and playing with a backup goalie.
Glencoe, with six offensive players, quickly scored and closed the gap to 5-6. Sisters got their starting goalie back, but still were two men down. Glencoe scored twice in quick succession to take a 7-6 lead, all within a couple of minutes.
The Outlaws got back to full numbers and had some opportunities to tie it up, including a minute when they were two men up, but they just couldn’t convert.
Henry and Merrill scored two goals each, and Palanuk and Gavin Christian added one goal each.
Goalie Justin Blake got some pregame pointers from 2018 graduate and ex-goalie Casey Warburton, and used it to make 11 saves. Scholl stepped into a starting role and played four full quarters of solid defense, and Gus Patton did a superb job in leading the team with eight ground balls as a midfielder.
“I’m really proud of the boys who were there,” said Patton. “They stepped up and competed hard.”
The Outlaws will take time off for spring break and resume play on Wednesday, March 30, with a game at home against Mt. View. They will hit the road for a game at Century on Friday.