Game 1 vs Burke
Wow. That is the only way to describe the first quarter of this game. Valley came out at full speed and played arguably the best first quarter of the season. The Tigers went up early and kept their foot on the gas. Knowing the threat that Burke posed, the boys kept their heads and maintained control throughout the first half.
The second half saw the entire bench rotate into the game. In fact, helmets had to be taken from the starters to force them to rest for Game 2.
The Tigers maintained the pressure despite letting their lead dwindle. Overall the team got a lot of good experience in this game and started the day on a high note.
Game 2 vs Westside
If Game 1 was the best first quarter of the season, then this was the worst. The offense was beyond flat. Nobody passed; nobody moved. Selfish play and poor shot selection prevented a goal on six strait opportunities. To make matters worse, the middies kept failing to get back on defense which allowed Westside to grab an easy goal. As a result, three starters were benched for the remainder of the first.
The wake up call sparked D Griess, Arends, and Bostwick back to life. All three came out stronger in the second quarter and started the path towards on-field redemption. The defense began communicating better with captain Lozada barking slide orders while improving his marking. Captain Sundermann moved from his defensive spot to play LSM throughout the day in the absence of usual LSM McDougal, and proved to be quite effective.
As the game wore on, the Tigers found themselves and held Westside to three goals. As usual, D Griess took the scoring title as he grabbed five goals. Senior captain Bostwick scored the other two.
JV vs Creighton Prep
Due to Waukee's prom, the JV team headed into their first game with the shortest bench of the season. Complicating matters was the loss of JV captain and face off man Giles due to academic issues. Second line varsity middie Arends stepped up to round out the attack unit. With only two middies standing behind me, we started the game with Boyd at LSM.
Eighth grader Taylor made his debut in goal. Despite the score, Taylor looked solid and shows a lot potential as his confidence and experience continue to grow. Fellow eighth grader W Tornberg moved to LSM in the second half and owned the position.
Prep is a great team at both levels and the loss was closer than the scoreline indicates. Everybody played a strong second half but could not recover from gaffes made in the first quarter.
JV vs Burke
With W Tornberg now at LSM, the boys were ready to rectify their loss. All around play was tight and Taylor made some of the most amazing saves I had seen all day - from any goalie. Unfortunately a shot off the knee took him out of the game. Varsity attackman Stoakes stepped into the goal. Handicapping all of the goalies was the setting sun; each had to stare directly into it for half the game.
Overall the play was strong from everybody despite their obvious exhaustion. Defensively, the back line looked much stronger in this game. It was clear that the absence of senior Kaufmann played a role in the organization during both games.
Arends and JV captain Goertz played significant minutes in all four games but both still managed to win numerous face offs and then quickly switch to attack. I am truly grateful to everybody for stepping up and giving it everything they had in both games. They may be losses in the score book, but they were morale victories for sure.
Next week the varsity travels to Council Bluffs (undisclosed location at this point) to face the River City Black Knights for the second time this season. Game 2 will be a rematch with Westside. Following a bye week on May 1, Valley returns to Omaha to face Creighton Prep at home for the final game of the regular season.
The JV does not play again until May 8. They will also face Creighton Prep at home.
***Coming off the heels of this weekend's games, Valley is second in the North Division with and 8-2 record. West Side Lax has them in a solid third place overall behind the two teams that beat them this season: Creighton Prep and Lincoln. WSL has this to say about Valley:
"Tough to believe this is first year of varsity lacrosse"As long as we continue to play our game and execute the fundamentals, there is no reason to think that we will lose another game this season. The May 8th showdown with Prep will be very telling indeed. Before then Prep will face Millard West, Lincoln, and Blue Valley West (Kansas League). A loss to any of those teams could be enough to demoralize the Jays and give us an opportunity for redemption.