In their much-anticipated return to Wasmer Field, the Lax Cats did not disappoint.
In the team's first game of the season on Wasmer Field, the Saint Ignatius varsity lacrosse team gave the fans a show. The Wildcats thundered to a 20-9 conquest of Dublin Jerome, producing a host of highlights along the way.
The conquest advanced the Wildcats to 11-3 on the season as the regular season enters its final week.
Jerome began the late afternoon contest with a goal, but from there the Wildcats offense took off. Grant Geary forced a turnover and grabbed a groundball to initiate the action, firing it to Connor Cmiel in transition. The speedy junior did the rest, placing the ball in the back of the net at 9:28 for the Wildcats' first goal of the day. Just 15 seconds later, Kenneth Klubnik did the honors, off a beautiful pass from Michael Boehm, the first of many apples for the junior.
Cmiel, Nate Conry, and Merick Hartley all worked with Boehm over the course of the first, all finding twine in impressive fashion. Then came perhaps the goal of the year.
With about two minutes on the clock, Boehm worked with the ball on the nearside wing. Harrassed by a long pole defender and then a sliding short pole, Boehm tossed a behind the back pass to a cutting Christian Radke. Running out of room and seeing a pinching defender approaching, Radke fired a behind the back shot that found the back of the net. It was truly a SportsCenter Top 10 Highlight. Click here to see the goal – many thanks to Matt Kelly '22 for filming this great highlight.
"I got the ball and took it down, then Mike gave a little dummy dodge, gave another dodge, and passed it BTB [behind the back] to me. I just grabbed it and ripped it BTB," said Radke.
Entering the second stanza, the Wildcats held a 6-1 lead, but were far from done.
With Joey Morford dominating at X, winning seven faceoffs, the Wildcats' offense did serious damage. Conry and Cmiel connected for a nice goal to start the party just over 90 seconds into the quarter. A few minutes later, Boehm did it by himself, cranking a shot into the net. Hartley sent a howitzer at the net just 15 seconds later. Hartley then assisted Charlie Kinzel on another beauty. Griff "Biggie" Gerard finalized the scoring thanks to a Cmiel apple with 10 seconds left in the half.
Jerome scored three times, but the Wildcats 17-6 shot advantage tells the tale of the quarter. The Lax Cats owned an 11-4 lead heading into the second half.
The Wildcats rotated in a lot of players in the third quarter, but still added slightly to the goal margin. Goals by Radke, Cmiel, and Gerard advanced the lead to 14-6. All three goals were pretty, too. Cmiel took a Boehm pass in the low slot and used an over the back shot to find the back of the net. Gerard danced around with a number of jukes to evade defenders and the netminder on his goal after Cmiel fired him a pass.
The fourth quarter started with the Celtics on a two-man advantage, due to two late penalties by the Wildcats in the third. A chance to comeback turned into a backbreaker for Jerome. Cmiel tore down the field on a breakaway and placed the biscuit in the basket for a huge shorthanded goal.
The Celtics did manage a few goals in the final stanza, but the Wildcats placed an exclamation point on the win with some nice goals in the fourth. Hartley, Conry, Kinzel, and Radke bagged goals in the fourth, leaving no doubt against the No. 4 ranked team in the state.
Cmiel and Radke each provided 4 goals to lead the team. Boehm produced 8 points, with a goal and 7 assists. Hartley and Conry tallied hatty's with 3 goals apiece. John Coughlin led the team with 8 ground balls.
"This is a great win in the state of Ohio for us," said Radke. "We needed to come in and give it our all, and that's what we did. We need to keep having a lot of shots on goal, keep it moving in practice, and keep giving it our all."
The Wildcats will certainly need to bring it this week, as two stout opponents come to town. Everest Academy will be a steep test, as the Clem D'Orazio-led group is a physical team that's played tough competition all season. Then on Tuesday, St. Edward comes to Wasmer Field after defeating Shaker Heights on Saturday, 12-9.
Both games will be broadcasted live on the SIBN.
Varsity Blue notches back-to-back wins
The men of Bo Shim '92 have picked up steam entering the final stretch.
The Varsity Blue Cats captured a 13-6 win over Gilmour Academy on Friday and a 13-11 victory over Jerome on Saturday.
And that's despite an injury bug that's bit 9 players. Amidst the adversity, defenders Luca Laspina, Conner Grace, Casey Dreiling, Ryan Beane, and Vincent Kasinec came up with key stops and forced turnovers to stem the tide. Goalie Logan Rechin tallied 7 big saves against Gilmour. Against Jerome, Bradley Wracher and Rechin split time, combining for 12 saves.
Offensively, in the two games, 19 of the 26 goals were assisted. The offense was guided by Michael Mattimore, who carded 9 points (6 goals, 3 assists) against Gilmour and 6 points (5 goals, 1 assist) against Jerome.
The Varsity Blue Cats now stand at 7-5-1 on the season entering Wednesday's showdown with the Varsity Green Eagles at 7 pm on Wasmer Field.
The JV Cats, on the road at University School, fell short in a 9-2 loss on Saturday.
Blue Streaks win the OAC
Congrats are in order for three Saint Ignatius lacrosse alumni – Liam Nigro '18, Ian Flynn '18, and Cam Gerard '16. The trio helped John Carroll capture its fourth straight Ohio Athletic Conference Championship. Gerard scored the opening goal in the 13-5 win over Ohio Northern. The three Wildcat-Blue Streaks will go dancing in the NCAA Tournament next week.
The win is particularly sweet for the Flynn Family, as today happens to be the birthday of Mary Beth Flynn, whom many know as an exceptional member of the Advancement Department. Not a bad gift for Ian to give his mom!
Good luck to Crew
Crew Cintron '16 will be playing in the Patriot League Tournament Championship on Sunday at noon for Lehigh. Cintron and the Mountain Hawks will battle Army West Point for an automatic bid to the NCAA Tourney.
Speaking of Crew, he recently scored a highlight reel goal of his own. Click here to see it.