Middle Creek’s boys lacrosse team proved faceoffs are a bit overrated when you perform well in all other facets. The Mustangs are heading to the N.C. High School Athletic Association’s final four after an 11-5 victory against Leesville Road.
The visiting Pride won the faceoffs 14-4, thanks to Davis Sampere, but it seemed to matter little.
“He’s a tremendous athlete and talent,” Middle Creek coach Paul Robison said. “It just goes to show that when we play team ball, we can do much more than we can individually.”
Leesville (15-2), led by Griffin McNamara’s two goals, did cut a 5-1 halftime lead to 6-5 soon after the fourth quarter started. But a 5-0 run from the Mustangs closed out the game.
The Pride’s Cory Subasic, Eric Fitz nd Parker Beebee added goals.
When Mustangs (18-1) needed to force a turnover, they got it from defenders like Jack Diebolt and others.
“We slid very well, we’ve been practicing that a lot lately,” Diebolt said. “We stopped fast breaks really well, they didn’t score any goals on that.”
Middle Creek’s Charlie Doetzer had a game-high three goals. Owen Caputo had two goals and two assists. Jared Medwar scored twice and Ryan Robley, A.J. King, Riley McConnell (one assist) and Jack Doetzer added one apiece.
Leesville had to shoot from distance, which made it easier for Middle Creek goalie Nick Arcuri.
“They have a great goalie, and that’s the type of thing that can take you all the way to a championship. And he played like a championship goalie,” Leesville coach Franklin Zirkle said. “We knew how we had to shoot and we didn’t shoot like we were supposed to.”
The Pride has been a varsity program for four seasons and now won conference championships in back-to-back seasons. Leesville loses just four seniors off this year’s team, making the future bright for Zirkle’s program.
“I asked them to take a look at the scoreboard at the end of the game and when they work really hard in the summer and in the fall and in the winter, to let that burn in their head,” Zirkle said.