CARY — Boys’ and girls’ lacrosse are played with different rules, but the two Catamounts teams are built the same – defense first.
Panther Creek’s boys’ and girls’ teams were in control of their varsity contests at Cary on Friday.
PC’s girls defeated Cary 13-3 with a second-half shutout, and the boys won 8-1 by holding the Imps without a goal for 26 minutes.
PC girls improve offense
As a third-year starter, Panther Creek senior Jill Green is used to the season’s ebb and flow.
“I think after every year we look back at the seniors that we’ve lost and we’re all nervous about starting up the new season. But every year, people are just getting better and better and people step up to replace those seniors that have left,” Green said.
And that seems to be the case with this year’s Catamounts (4-1, 3-1). Most of the experience is on defense, but the young offense is now rounding into form.
“I knew our defense would be solid,” said PC coach Pete DeStaebler. “Some of the new girls are starting to get used to playing with the other girls... the offense is starting to catch up with the defense a little bit.”
Cary cut the lead to 5-3 after a pair of Sarah Hoyek goals and one from Ariella Patra, but Panther Creek sophomore Sarah Oechslin answered twice before half to take a 7-3 lead.
Junior Kelly Kearnan had three goals and three assists. Oechslin added two assists, while Cassie Pacanovsky, Madeline Pillar score twice. Paige Kearnan and Audrey Everett added one goal.
“We have a really well-rounded team, so we can play every position. I feel like that helps with transitions and pushing the ball up the field as fast as we can,” said PC senior Sarah Pagan.
The Catamounts, without four players due to injury, held Cary (1-2, 1-2) scorelesss in the final 25 minutes.
Cary goalkeepers Kim Acosta and Emma Early combined for nine saves. The Imps’ goal this year is to, at minimum, double last year’s two-win total.
“We’ve got a young, inexperienced team and they’re improving every game,” coach Rob Dickson said. “We’ve got some great freshmen that are coming up to bat and doing well... We’ve got a bunch of girls who have never played the game before who are trying real hard.”
Catamounts find defensive prowess
Despite each team getting off 22 shots, Cary’s Clayton Blackwelder provided the only goal for the Imps (1-4, 0-3) at the 9:20 mark of the third quarter.
“It was probably our best effort of the year top to bottom. The shots just weren’t going for us tonight,” Cary coach Scott Gordon said, noting the goalie play from Terrence Lasater. “We were getting our looks, they just weren’t falling for us.”
Lasater and Andrew Pritko combined to make several tough saves for PC.
No team has scored more than eight goals against the Catamounts boys’ this season.
“Terrence has been pretty solid for us this year. I think we’ve got two really good goalies. It’s hard to pick sometimes,” PC coach James Aldridge said. “Our defense is the rock of our team this year. We’re leaning on them pretty heavily.”
Five different Catamounts (2-3, 1-3) scored during the team’s 6-0 first-half lead and no player had finishd with more than two (Carter Rucker, Matt Artman).
“We had some nice dodges, some nice shots,” Artman said. “It’s nice to have production so it’s not all on one guy. You don’t want to have the burden of that because if he gets hurt or shut off, you’re not going to have a good offense.”
Dillon May, Benjamin Ritcher, Joshua Clute and Parker Williams each had one goal apiece.
Blake: 919-460-2606; On Twitter: @JMBpreps