Two traditional Triangle boys lacrosse powers met for an early-season showdown after winning their season openers, but the lopsided result only told us much about one of them.
We learned Green Hope might have the right mix of veterans and youth with the way the Falcons routed Chapel Hill 14-2 in a non-conference game Thursday night on the Tigers’ field.
One of those young players is sophomore Aidan Callahan, who scored a game-high five goals. Green Hope has outscored its two opponents 27-5 after opening with a 13-3 victory over Pinecrest.
“I think this is going to be one of our best years yet,” Callahan said. “We have a great group of seniors who made a run as sophomores. There is a new feeling on the team this year. We feel we can contend with anyone.”
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Callanhan referred to the senior class contributing to a N.C. High School Athletic Association 4A East Regional runner-up finish as sophomores, although they suffered a state-tournament first-round loss last year.
Chapel Hill (1-1) opened with a 12-4 over Riverside, but Green Hope exposed the Tigers’ lack of experience.
“Fortunately for us this is the beginning of the season,” Chapel Hill coach Brent Voelkel said. “We’ve got a lot of work to do. All we can do is to try and draw from the positives and get better in practice.”
Green Hope led 3-0 in the first quarter with Callahan scoring a hat trick. He added one goal in the second quarter to contribute to a 10-0 halftime lead and another third period goal for an 11-0 advantage before Falcons coach John Larkin emptied his bench.
Green Hope dominated play with most of the game played in Chapel Hill’s defensive end of the field. The Falcons would score, Brendan Roess would win the faceoff and they’d score again.
“We’re happy with the way we were controlling the ball of offense,” Callahan said. “Our coach preaches every day if we maintain control of the ball and keep it out of our defensive end, they can’t score.
“(Roess) won just about every faceoff. We just kept rolling. We won the faceoff and put it in the back of the net.”
Despite the 14 goals, Chapel Hill All-Big 8 Conference goalie Kyle Hornik played a strong game or the score might have been uglier.
Chapel Hill avoided a shutout when Duncan Tart scored in the third quarter. The Tigers’ Sean Voelkel added a fourth-period goal.
In all, eight Green Hope players scored. Nolan Paussa tallied three and six more players added a goal each: Harrison Wynne, Will McClain, Tucker Burkinshaw, Dana Kelly, Aiden Jeffs and Jack Larkin.
“They have a very skilled team,” Chapel Hill’s veteran coach added. “They catch and throw a lot better than us. We’ve got to see how we improve.”