Offense and defense combined for one of the Wildcats' best wins of the 2017 season.
The Saint Ignatius lacrosse team posted a sterling performance on Saturday at home on Wasmer Field, defeating the Shaker Heights Red Raiders, 16-9. Nathan Conry and Michael Boehm led the charge on offense, combining for a terrific total of nine goals, while the defense held the Raiders at bay.
The Wildcats advance to the Regional Semifinal on Wednesday against the Hudson Explorers. The contest began well for the visitors. The Raiders came out with a vengeance after losing to the Wildcats earlier this season, 6-5.
Shaker Heights came out in the opening minutes of the game and possessed the ball early on. The possession time resulted in a pair of early goals for the Red Raiders.
The Wildcats responded after taking a 2-0 deficit, scoring the next four goals.
Nathan Conry got the Wildcats on the board with a tally off a feed from Michael Boehm. The freshman then tabbed a goal of his own, his first of several on the day. Bain Kurtz then buried the ball deep in the net with 11 seconds left in the first, granting the Wildcats their first lead of the day.
Within the first two minutes of the second, Riley Kinzel received a nice pass from Conry. Kinzel used his left hand to find the twine, making it 4-2.
The Raiders narrowed the deficit to one before Boehm struck again for his second score of the day with 7:10 remaining. The sequence then repeated again, as the Raiders scored before the Wildcats quickly responded. This time, Brent Chernosky did the honors, scoring off a quick transition from an Anthony Ameo faceoff win with 4:20 left.
Grayson Gerard completed the scoring in the first half with 3:32 remaining. Gerard took a shot from a near-zero angle, using a low shot to beat the Shaker Heights' netminder. The score stood at 7-4 heading into the break.
The Wildcats roared out of the gate to start the second half, scoring two goals in the first 1:16.
Gerard tallied his second score of the contest, shooting from the top of the box and finding the back of the net with pinpoint accuracy. Conry then fired the ball top-shelf past the Shaker Heights' goaltender.
Carter Blossey held down the net for the Wildcats in the third, turning away several promising Raiders' opportunities.
The Wildcats came out just as strong in the fourth as they did in the second and third. Conry tabbed his third goal of the game just 40 seconds into the period, but his hat trick goal did not satisfy him.
Conry found the back of the net again just a minute later. Boehm found Conry before the sophomore faked low and shot high to beat the Shaker Heights' netminder.
Boehm struck once again for the Wildcats at the 9:04 mark, finding room top shelf. Shaker Heights scored a pair of times, but the momentum quickly shifted on a Kinzel goal that trickled in the net.
The Lax Cats erupted for three goals in 90 seconds, as Conry scored on a wraparound and a top-shelf goal, and Boehm found the net once again.
By the time the dust settled, the Wildcats held a dominant 16-6 lead with 5:07 remaining, a deficit far too high for the visitors to overcome, despite a late comeback attempt.
A rematch now awaits the Lax Cats after today's huge victory. The Hudson Explorers will host the Wildcats on Wednesday. Hudson won the first matchup in late April, 8-4.