You don’t always have to wait until late in the season to experience playoff-like intensity.
Cap-8 Conference foes Broughton and Leesville Road opened their boys’ lacrosse seasons Tuesday night, and there was a playoff energy in the air. The Capitals jumped out to an early 3-0 lead and never trailed en route to a 12-8 victory.
Leesville tied the game at three in the first half, settling down after some first-game jitters, but the Caps defense buckled down to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
“I think it was a team effort,” Broughton coach Michael Raskevitz said. “We had a scrimmage last week, and our defense got banged up pretty good. I think they took that in stride and came out with a chip on their shoulder.”
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The Capitals struck early and often, going up three behind to two goals from freshman Van Parker and another from David Liggett. Leesville tied the game in the first quarter after goals from Alex Shearer, Nolan Brunick and John Stout, but Broughton took control from that point.
The Caps got back in front on goal from William Rice, a University of Richmond commit, at the 9:58 mark. Liggett, Parker and Mitchell Snyder each scored in the second period, allowing Broughton to take a comfortable 7-4 lead into the break. Eric Fitz scored the lone goal in the second for the Pride.
Leesville struck first in the second half with a goal from Cody Snyder but was outscored 2-0 the rest of the third. Broughton pulled away in the fourth, scoring four goals in the first six minutes to double up on the Pride, 12-6, halfway into the final frame.
“There are things that we need to correct,” Leesville coach Franklin Zirkle said. “They are easily correctable. I think we were a little too hype coming in and playing. We took an awful lot of shots that we usually hit that we didn’t hit tonight. They (Broughton) hit their shots, give them credit. We didn’t hit our shots. You dig yourself into a hole and then you play totally different lacrosse when that happens.”
It was a physical game, with several penalties divided among the two teams.
“You want to channel that in a correct way,” Raskevitz. “Both teams did a really good job. In a rivalry game, you do want to put your best foot forward. It didn’t get chippy. It can be physical without being chippy.”
They said it
Zirkle on his team’s grade after its season opener: “I would just go as low on the scale as possible. Anytime you lose a game, you failed.”
Raskevitz said there wasn’t one certain moment or goal that turned the game for them. The coach thought the midfield faceoffs (12-8) gave Broughton the advantage.
“Tonight we dictated the pace of the game through our faceoffs,” Raskevitz said. “We possessed so much and we have enough offensive weapons once we get more opportunities we’re going to end up putting it in the back of the cage.”
Three to know
William Rice, Broughton: The junior had three goals and an assist for the Caps.
“He’s a big, north-south dodger, and he executes really well,” Raskevitz said.
Austin Bell, Broughton: The senior captain had one assist, but was dominate on the faceoffs for the Caps.
“He leads by example by everything he does, whether it’s offense, faceoffs, defensive midfield, he gets his hands in the middle of everything,” Raskevitz said.
Alex Shearer, Leesville Road: Scored four goals for the Pride, three in the second half.
By the numbers
7: Assists by the Caps on their 12 goals
12: Faceoffs won by the Caps
3: Minutes it took the Caps to get their first goal of the 2016 season
The Caps looked like a team that had a few games under its belt. Even though it was the season opener for both teams, Broughton looked more polished, especially when it was on the attack. The Caps offense took care of the ball and was able to spread it around more, often catching Leesville out of position.
Broughton will take on another Cap-8 opponent, Sanderson, on Friday. Leesville will travel to Northwest Guilford.