RALEIGH Green Hope junior Harrison Wynne said in Monday’s practice, he and other boys lacrosse players had to run any time they were doing something selfish. Bad habits needed to be broken, and the oldest coaching trick in the book is still an effective one.
On Tuesday, the Falcons’ boys lacrosse team showed the kind of teamwork that allowed them to win four of their last five games last season in a 12-8 victory against Athens Drive. The win against The News & Observer area’s No. 9 team avenges an 11-7 loss from earlier in the year and gives the Falcons a boost as they face other Southwest Wake Athletic Conference teams twice.
“The first time around (the SWAC schedule), we were really confused because we thought we were going to be really good this year. I think we came out with a lot of effort to win, we just didn’t really have the teamwork and heart to do it. Whenever we got behind we’d always go one-on-one and throw it away, lose the ball,” said Wynne, who had one goal and four assists.
“We got all the bad habits out. We were running a lot just for everything that we had done wrong. Everybody just figured ‘might as well work together and see how it works.’”
What worked: Green Hope (5-4, 5-4) was methodical in its offense, something it has been working on since switching from last year’s fastbreak style.
“This year it’s not the same pace and we’re finally starting to recover,” said Nolan Paussa, who had three goals and one assist.
Needs improvement: Athens Drive (5-3, 5-3) missed some passes around the net it would love to have back.
“We had seven turnovers in the second quarter alone. When you do that, all you’re doing is giving them the ball. We played a lot of defense in the second quarter, so defense got exhausted,” Athens coach Jeff Salvado said. “We had some great opportunites right around the net. We just couldn’t finish them. ... We’ve got to keep our heads up and keep making the feeds when they’re there.”
Turning point: Green Hope scored the last three goals of the second quarter to lead 6-3 at the break, then answered with three goals to start the third quarter and go up by six with 5:44 to play in the period.
Unsung hero: Green Hope sophomore goalie Conor Ryan had a quietly strong game for the Falcons.
“He definitely needed that one tonight. He struggled a little bit in our bad losses, and he stepped it up tonight,” Green Hope coach John Larkin said.
Putting up numbers: Green Hope’s Tucker Burkinshaw had three goals (one assist), Aidan Callahan had two goals (one assist), Jack Larkin had two goals, Will McClain had one goal and Dana Kelly had one assist.
Athens Drive’s goals were scored by P.J. Bernstein (one assist), Conor Gronbach (two goals), Worth Lineberry (two goals), Cade Magnanini (one goal), Brock Martin (two goals, two assists) and Jason Rash (one goal). Bobby Padden had one assist.