By Seth Kinker, firstname.lastname@example.org
The Saline Hornet Boys Lacrosse team picked up their second and third wins of the season this week, all against private schools, defeating Brother Rice (Orange) 14-2 on Wednesday, Apr. 4 and Toledo St. John’s Jesuit 16-4 on Friday, Apr. 6.
The Hornets traveled to Brother Rice High School for their first contest since Mar. 21, with Spring Break causing the long break in between. The break coupled with the weather meant there wasn’t much practice time for the Hornets. Hornets Head Coach Ryan Crawford wanted the team to come out fast and grab an early lead.
“Last year we did the opposite and before we knew it they were up five,” said Crawford. “So I wanted to make sure that we played our game and made them adjust. It’s been a focus this year of starting games better than in the past and yesterday we did that.”
Two minutes and eleven seconds in junior attacker Tanyr Krummenacher came from behind the net to get the first goal for the Hornets. He finished with two goals and a team-high five assists.
Krummenacher’s role is to facilitate the offense, and with fellow senior attacker Davis Bruneau and first-year varsity player and junior attacker Chris Peters, the first line for the Hornets should be something to look out for this year.
“Tanyr is a special player,” said Crawford. “He can get his own shot but prefers to pass. He has great vision and can dodge well enough to get a double team and get his teammates easy goals. He and Bruneau connected last year for I’d guess 50 goals and now with Chris in the mix, I think they can put up some very impressive numbers.”
“I love playing with Tanyr and Davis,” added Peters. “I have never played with a line as talented as they are and we seem to be on the same page all the time because we all know how each other plays and our strengths and weaknesses.”
The Hornets held a 1-0 lead after the first quarter but in the second the Hornets keeping possession began to wear down Brother Rice by adjusting to where Brother Rice was sliding. A defender from the back side of the crease would double the ball and once the Hornets recognized this, they picked the defense apart.
Senior Jack Loveland, who committed to Kalamazoo College on Apr. 1, scored 56 seconds into the second quarter, coming across the face of the goal before beating the Brother Rice goalkeeper, one of three Hornet goals to take a 4-0 lead.
At halftime, the Hornets led 4-2 after giving away two goals in the last two minutes of the half, but the defense would tighten up and wouldn’t allow a goal for the rest of the contest.
“Overall the defense played extremely well,” said Crawford. “Collin (Clark) led the team in ground balls and those two saves at the mid-line led to extra possession and I believe a goal. He has really played well in both games and we expect that to continue. The key has been our communication led by (seniors) Shane (Winkelseth) and Omar (Mahmud).”
After the break, the Hornets scored four goals in the first three minutes to put the game away. Senior midfielder Jackson Fairman started it off with a goal 21 seconds into the half when he subbed in and ran straight to net. Krummenacher, who had the ball behind the net, saw Fairman streaking and made the easy pass for a quick goal.
“We had more time at the half to talk it (offensive adjustments) over a bit more which led to the huge third quarter,” said Crawford. “Our attackmen played very well and made the adjustment perfectly which led to them racking up a ton of goals.”
Bruneau (1) and Peters (2) added the other goals as the score quickly became 8-2 and out of reach for Brother Rice. The Hornets would cruise for the rest of the contest coming away with the 14-2 victory to start their season off 2-0.
Top performers for the Hornets included Krummenacher two goals and five assists, Peters with six goals), and Fairman with three goals.
Peters, a first-year varsity player, led the team with six goals and now has nine goals in two career varsity contests. Last season Crawford described his offense as more finesse. This year Peters brings size and strength to the Hornet offense.
“I’ve always been one of the bigger kids on the field,” said Peters. “My size is definitely a big part of what I’m able to do. I love getting physical and taking checks on my way to the net. I play lacrosse because in my opinion, it’s one of the most physical sports out there.”
Two games in and Peters says that he has gotten used to the level of play at varsity because of Coach Crawford giving him tips on how to be playing at the varsity level.
“That just got me thinking about how I need to play to become a good player for our team and contribute as much as I can,” said Peters. “I expect our team to do amazing this season, this is a fantastic team.”
On Friday, the Hornets hosted Toledo St. John’s and picked up their third win of the season, 16-4. The Hornets jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first quarter and didn’t trail the entire game.
Leaders for the Hornets included Krummenacher with five goals and five assists. Bruneau and Peters added four goals apiece. Senior goalkeeper Shane Winkelseth also had eight saves before being relieved late in the game.
“We have started games really well,” said Crawford. “Then we have been able to carry that momentum through halftime. A lot of that is Shane (Winkelseth) making big saves early in games and letting us build that lead. Our faceoff guys (Junior Sammy Richards and Sophomore Connor Martin) are combined well over 60% on the year. Those two things really help in getting an early lead of a few goals and really putting the pressure on the other team.”