The Saint Ignatius lacrosse team, led by Coach Garen Distelhorst ‘96, continued its quest of redemption to oust Upper Arlington from the state championship throne this past Tuesday night with a tough test against a formidable opponent, the St. Edward Eagles.
The Lax Cats passed the test easily, besting the Eagles, 14-6, on a chilly night on Wasmer Field.
The scoring started early in the contest when Luke Swaddling caught a crisp pass behind the net, came around the corner of the net, and put it over the extended reach of Wildcats’ goaltender Carter Blossey.
Seven minutes later, after two unsuccessful Wildcat man-advantages and a bone crushing hit by captain Sean Keller, placing the Wildcats down one man, Grant Geary put his body on the line by blocking a shot from Swadling. The heroic effort led to Dillon Pietrangelo intercepting a pass and finding Chris Larsen on a successful fast break down the field. Larsen found senior Riley Kinzel, who dished out an assist to Noah Catanzarite, who put it past Eagles’ netminder Kevin O’Donnell.
Junior Max Maruna featured a few “Do It Yourself” moves before releasing a shot that O’Donnell had little to no chance of stopping. Less than three minutes, later sophomore Nathan Conry caught a deflected pass off an Eagle and found twine to extend the lead to 3-1 Wildcats after 12 minutes of play.
Less than two minutes after the second stanza began, Pietrangelo raced past several Eagles in a similar fashion to Larsen before finding an open teammate in Michael Boehm. The freshmen put his first of five goals past O’Donnell to extend the Wildcat lead to three goals. Bellarmine commit and senior captain Brent Chernosky scored off an assist by Boehm, who got a nice pass from Jake Bourquin to set the play up.
Later in the second quarter, Boehm took the ball by himself, and as three-time OHSAA Hockey state champ, two-time state champion soccer broadcaster, and lacrosse broadcaster Seth Whitney so eloquently put it, “a nice underhand snipe.” You can watch the Lax Cats’ journey to a state championship all season long on SIBN, as Whitney, Jake Spence, and Chris Bishop will provide the call.
Eagles freshman Charlie Williams added a late goal as he beat Blossey through the legs, the WIldcats led 6-2 at the halfway point of the contest.
With capable senior goalie Jack Renillo protecting the Wildcats’ net for the third quarter, after making a nice save to open his night, Jonas Aquilla brought the Eagles closer with a snipe past Renillo making it a 3-goal contest.
Michigan commit Michael Boehm finished off a fastbreak attempt in response, beating O’Donnell to put the Wildcats back up four.
Hockey hero Bain Kurtz put one between the legs of O’Donnell to advance the Wildcats’ lead to 8-3. Besides his lacrosse ability, Kurtz doubles as a star hockey player who was paired up with Boehm and Michael McCaffrey in the 2016-17 season.
The Knight and Wolverine commits teamed up along with Larson to get Chernosky his second of the game, as he beat O’Donnell high, putting the Wildcats up by six. Boehm added another and traded goals with Swaddling, and the Wildcats led 10-4 at the conclusion of the third quarter.
Sean Keller found an open Boehm who once again netted the ball for some extra insurance.
Bourquin ran with the ball all the way down the field and made a wrap-around move that was successful, then Andrew Wendell added the fifth Eagle goal of the night, to make the score 12-5.
Seniors Riley Kinzel and Grayson Gerard added goals of their own, and despite a late Eagle goal, the Wildcats improved to 2-1 on the season.
Assists: Larsen (2), Kinzel, Kurtz, Boehm, Pietrangelo
Ground Balls: Ameo (10), Blossey (8), Keller (5), Larsen (3)
Saves: Blossey (5), Renillo (3)
NEXT UP: Today, 4:30 p.m. at Western Reserve Academy