The word circulating around Ohio was that the 2019 season would be a “down year” for the Saint Ignatius lacrosse program. This sentiment was stated on a recent Moeller podcast (S3E6 around the 18 minute mark).
The Saint Ignatius lacrosse program still had a sour taste in their mouths after losing to the Crusaders in the 2017 OHSAA State Championship in overtime. Listening to the podcast fueled the flame. Moeller led the all-time series, 14-11, dating back to 1989, but after Saturday’s game, it is now 14-12.
The Lax Cats believed they need to make statement, and that is exactly what they did, defeating Moeller, 20-8.
The Wildcats came out rolling, scoring with 9 goals in the first quarter, despite being in a “down year.” The Wildcats dominated in the face-off X (winning 21-of-31), ground balls (30-17), and the game as a whole.
Michael Boehm scored first, and had a hat-trick by the end of the first quarter. Four other players also contributed early in the first – Merrick Hartley, Jack Moriarity, Nate Conry, and Christian Radke.
The offense did not stop there. The Wildcats netted 11 other goals throughout the game. The Cats tallied 3 goals in the second and 4 goals in both the third and fourth quarters.
Jack Moriarity scored 6 goals on the day, leading the way in that category. Merrick Hartley netted 2 goals and an assist. Nate Conry also had 2 goals, adding 2 assists. Connor Cmiel scored a late goal and had 2 assists. Griff Gerard and Christian Radke also hit twine once apiece. Charlie Kinzel found the back of the net twice and supplied an assist. Michael Boehm netted 5 goals and had 4 assists to lead the team in points.
Joey Morford had one heck of a day at the face-off X, winning 19-of-27. Morford also won the team’s “Beast” award for the game. Freshman Braeden Lair also got in on the action, winning 50% of his face-offs taken.
The defense was a gauntlet during the game, causing 4 turnovers. Charlie Minerd also had 8 saves on the day. Jack Welcsh led the charge with 5 ground balls. John Coughlin, Lou Persiani, Kyle Geary all had a caused turnover. The defense also converted on 4-of-5 clears. The transition game has continued to improve, and looks promising moving forward.
This win gives the Wildcats significant momentum, as they continue throughout their season and make a statement throughout Ohio. The Wildcats played a beautiful game, and if this is a down year, opponents do not want to see a good year.
With the win, the Wildcats advance to 6-2 on the year.
The Lax Cats will now embark on an important trip to Maryland/Washington D.C. The Wildcats will take on Churchill, Whitham, and Georgetown Prep. This stretch gives the Wildcats a perfect opportunity to keep improving against three very strong teams.
"This is a great opportunity for our program. It's been several years since we've been able to challenge ourselves against teams from the East Coast," said Director of Lacrosse Operations Garen Distelhorst '96. "We're all looking forward to the opportunity to play these three talented teams. Georgetown Prep is also of the best teams in the country and has been ranked in the Under Armour/Inside Lacrosse top 25 poll throughout the early parts of the season. Getting a chance to play all three of these teams in one weekend is a fantastic opportunity."
The challenge will certainly be a big one for the Wildcats.
Lacrosse is a large part of the sports culture in the DMV (DC, Maryland, Virginia).
"Traveling to the Baltimore/DC area, you're always going to be playing teams that are skilled. Lacrosse is a more of an ingrained aspect of life in Maryland and DC," Distelhorst said. "These kids are holding lacrosse sticks from the time they're born, just like kids around here know how to throw a baseball or call out football defenses and plays. In Maryland, most kids grow up with a knowledge of lacrosse similar to how kids in Ohio know football or baseball or basketball. These three teams will be skilled and comfortable with the fundamentals of offense and defense."
The Cats will face Whitman (MD) on Thursday at 11 am. After a break, the Wildcats will battle Churchill (MD) at 7 pm. The team will take Holy Friday off before matching up with Georgetown Prep (MD) on Saturday. The contest between Jesuit powers will be broadcasted live – a link will be provided soon.
JV/Varsity Blue Update
The JV and Varsity Blue teams faced the Avon Eagles on Tuesday on Wasmer Field. The JV Cats were defeated, 9-6, but the Varsity Blue Cats earned a 13-2 win to advance to 2-4-1 on the year.
The two teams will play again on Thursday. The JV Cats will host Wadsworth on McLaughlin Field at 5:30 pm, with the Varsity Blue Cats hosting the Grizzlies at 7:30 pm on Wasmer Field.