APEX — Sophomore John Kanady scored three second-half goals and Apex withstood a strong Middle Creek rally to edge the Mustangs 10-9 in a Conference 2 boys lacrosse game on Tuesday.
Apex junior Mike Daum added two goals and senior Luke Sieber chipped in one goal and two assists.
Justin Medwar led Middle Creek (3-3, 2-3) with three goals, while Graham Southwick added two and sophomore Jack Doetzer scored once and posted two assists.
What worked: Apex (5-0, 4-0) jumped out to a 5-0 lead after the first quarter. Senior Derek Sweet scored on the Cougars first goal, then assisted on the second to get Apex running. After Sieber and Dayton McGough found the net, Ryan Sullivan scored with 46 seconds left in the period to cap a great first quarter for the Cougars.
“We really took care of the ball tonight and shot at a high percentage,” said Daum. “We knew this was going to a tough match, but our motto is ‘We don’t sleep on anybody.”
The Mustangs trailed twice by five goals, but each time responded. Middle Creek scored five times in the second quarter to go into intermission trailing 6-5.
After Kanady’s hat trick in the third quarter, the Mustangs were down again, but senior captain Ben Doetzer got them going and they scored four times in a span of three minutes to come within a goal.
Apex was able to hold the ball for most of the final 2:41.
Needs improvement: Both teams surrendered goals in bunches. Middle Creek head coach Paul Robison was very proud of the way his team battled back, but wished the deficit was not so large to have to overcome.
“Our guys showed a lot of character and composure, playing to the last whistle,” Robison said. “It was a great game, we just can’t give up five goals like that in the first quarter.”
Unsung heroes: Robison complimented the play and leadership of Ben Doetzer (one goal, two assists), who played the entire game and was a strong defensive presence.
Sieber was injured in the second quarter when he assisted Daum on the Cougars’ lone goal in the period. Daum credited the senior with giving up his body for the goal and his toughness.
Sieber returned to the game soon after.
Looking forward:Apex will host Cardinal Gibbons on Friday in a key conference matchup. Both teams have recently reached the state championship game, with the Crusader making it last season and the Cougars in 2011.