Dreadnaught Boys Lacrosse comes up short against Skyline

By: Seth Kinker, skinker@thesuntimesnews.com

It was a tale of two halves and a late push from the Dexter Dreadnaught Boys Lacrosse team (1-1) came up just short against the Ann Arbor Skyline Eagles, 9-7. 

Dreadnaught head coach James Nichols told The Sun Times before the contest that the Eagles were a difficult team to prepare for, changing up what they do constantly. 

The first quarter, neither side had any quality chances to start. The Dreadnaughts were the first to score, with 40 seconds left in the first quarter on an unassisted goal by midfielder Zach Koone. 

“We were trying to feel each other out,” said Nichols. “They didn’t have an offensive set we were familiar with at first. (Howatt) had a really good first half, stood on his head and allowed the offense to get going in the first half.” 

37 seconds later, before the buzzer and after an Eagle penalty, Dreadnaught midfielder Jasper Howell scored on an unassisted liner to take a 2-0 lead.

With 8:55 in the second quarter simultaneous penalties were assessed. After a couple of Dreadnaught shots, the Eagles fouled again, making it five on four for a bit.

The Dreadnaughts would capitalize with captain and attacker Grisha Griffiths finding fellow captain and attacker Ryan Lotz for the 3-0 lead. 

Heading into the half the Dreadnaughts held a 3-1 lead after the Eagles scored with 24 seconds remaining after a rebound. 

In the third quarter, it was all Eagles as they flipped the script on the Dreadnaughts, outscoring them 4-0 to take a 5-3 lead after three quarters. The Eagles were now the ones controlling the tempo on offense and forcing short possessions for the Dreadnaughts with tight defense. 

“Defensively, we wanted more pressure,” said Nichols. “They had a good second half plan against our pressure and we got caught ball watching. When we tried to pressure out they back cut us and guys were watching the ball.” 

To start the fourth quarter the Eagles used their one challenge to check a player’s stick, that of Dreadnaught midfielder  Mason Loudermilk. Despite the referees checking equipment before the game began, Loudermilk was assessed a three-minute unreleasable penalty to start the fourth. 

17 seconds later the Eagles would score, doubling up on the Dreadnaughts 6-3. 

After adding two more goals with 5:38 and 4:08 remaining in the game, the Eagles led 8-33. 

Enter Loudermilk. 

Loudermilk scored three goals over the course of a minute and nineteen seconds to make it a game. With  2:21 remaining he scored his third goal to make the score 8-6, still in favor of the Eagles. 

With 37 seconds remaining the Dreadnaughts got a pass across the middle, but no one was home. The Eagles committed a penalty with 30 seconds left but an errant pass lead to the Eagles clearing the ball the length of the field and coming away with the 8-6 win. 

“(Loudermilk) got that penalty (to start the quarter),” said Nichols. “He’s our captain and leader. He wanted to make up for it. When he sees it and has that focus you let him do his thing. I’m proud of how he handled it. He wants it so bad but there’s a good life lesson from this. How we can respond? We’ve got a couple of days off to make some adjustments. We’re excited for what’s next. Skyline is a good team and played us really well. They had a good plan against us, hopefully, we can look at the tape and see how we can improve.” 

“We knew we had the hot hand, had something going, and we had to get a quick goal,” said Nichols on the look with 37 seconds left. “The look was there, the pass was off and we turned it over. We do that every day in practice, try and get these guys to execute during the game. This one just got away from us, hard to come back from five goals in five minutes.”

Seth Kinker

Reporter/Digital Media for The Sun Times News

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