Oak Hall boys, girls lacrosse ousted
Published: Friday, April 26, 2013 at 11:00 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, April 27, 2013 at 12:04 a.m.
Entering Friday night's second-round play-in game, Oak Hall's boys lacrosse team viewed its recent district title win and first playoff victory as baby steps in the right direction for its growing program.
But as the Eagles have learned in each of the last three years, playing regular state semifinalist Ponte Vedra in the postseason proved one challenge too far.
The visiting Sharks found multiple goals from six different scorers, including a first-half hat trick from Reece Andrews, to pull away from the Eagles, 16-4, and advance to host Tuesday's third-round play-in game against Tallahassee Maclay at 7 p.m.
While Oak Hall (17-2) has now been outscored 49-8 in its three playoff losses to Ponte Vedra (20-2), Eagles coach Rick Kirschner felt the brunt of the Sharks' superiority came at the faceoff.
“Their faceoff kid was really talented,” Kirschner said. “We've struggled there all season, and that's a question of putting the time in during the summer. So their faceoff guy really made a huge difference tonight.”
Leading Ponte Vedra's dominance at the draw was sophomore midfielder Logan Taucher, who helped the Sharks secure 14-of-21 faceoffs in the game.
After Oak Hall senior Danny Stirt won the opening faceoff and gave the Eagles a 1-0 lead six minutes in, Ponte Vedra's ball-hawking specialist helped his team go on a 9-1 run to close the half with 10 controls.
“He's just been a monster all year and has taken most of our draws,” Sharks coach Tom West said. “When we lost that first faceoff, we didn't have possession for eight minutes, and they scored the first goal. But every time we scored a goal, it was like make-it, take-it.”
The Eagles, who were led in scoring by Tyler Baggett's two goals, had little answer defensively for the Sharks' attack after trailing by just one goal entering the second quarter.
Andrews, a senior attackman, frustrated Oak Hall while working primarily behind the crease by scoring a pair of Ponte Vedra's six straight goals. In the quarter, the Sharks peppered Eagles goalie Miles Davis (12 saves) with 11 of their 31 total shots to take 9-2 lead into the break.
From there, Ponte Vedra would only press its advantage in the second half with a suffocating man-to-man defense that forced 20 turnovers and an opportunistic offense paced by All-American attackman Dalton LeMaster, who scored two goals and dished three assists.
“They were just doing a good job, and we weren't ball protecting very well,” said Baggett, a junior midfielder. “They were getting some easy checks on us, which would cause those turnovers. Then, they'd come down and score.”
Girls lacrosse Second Round Play-in game: At Ponte Vedra, Oak Hall saw its season come to an end with a 20-3 loss to Ponte Vedra.
After keeping it close with only a 6-3 halftime deficit, the Eagles could not keep Ponte Vedra off the scoreboard, surrendering 14 unanswered points to the Sharks.
Madison O'Leary, Ashley Cohrs and Molly Muldoon each scored one goal for the Eagles (11-6).