Since dropping the first of back-to-back games on April 15, Middle Creek boys lacrosse has been firing on all cylinders, making Athens Drive its latest victim in the midst of a three-game win streak.
The Jaguars’ Bobby Padden scored the first goal of the night, but the Mustangs came back and responded with 10 unanswered goals of their own en route to a 15-7 victory.
Since losing to Holly Springs and Hoggard, Middle Creek (12-3, 9-3) has outscored its opponents 52-12 since April 19.
“I think facing adversity really helped us. We needed to buckle down or it could’ve been costly,” the Mustangs’ Augy White said.
“We were selfish at times, and we needed to think about the people next to us instead of ourselves,” teammate Charlie Doetzer said. “Our offense wasn’t clicking, we were lost and we got back on track today.”
The Mustangs had four players score multiple goals in Doetzer (3), Noah Clinton, Tanner Patrick and Owen Caputo (3). The ability to score through a variety of options bodes well for Middle Creek as it gears up for the playoffs.
Athens Drive coach Jeff Salvado is ready to look ahead to the final two games on the schedule, both of which are must-win games for the Jags (7-8, 5-6).
“We got to keep playing, we have two games left (against Cary and Panther Creek) and if we win those two games then we get the fifth seed and automatic bid in the playoffs,” he said. “I told them ‘unfortunately it didn’t go our way tonight’ and we have to forget about it and move on to the next game.”
Ryan Macri’s unassisted goal with 7:35 to go in the first quarter led to two more goals in the next 2:35 and sparked the 10-goal run.
They said it
“It’s kind of cool and senior night is pretty special, which I didn’t realize until I became a senior,” said White after getting the win. “It was a big conference game and it was fun.”
Three to know
Jake Caputo, Middle Creek: The freshman scored a goal and also shared the rock, dishing out three of the Mustangs’ seven assisted goals.
Peyton Smith, Athens Drive: The Marist recruit dominated the faceoff “X,” going 15-for-19. He also scored two unassisted goals.
“Faceoffs are a craft and something he works on continuously,” Salvado said. “This year he’s worked at making himself an offensive threat and now guys are scared that when he’s running down the field he’s going to put it in the back of the net.”
Charlie Doetzer, Middle Creek: Doetzer scored three of the Mustangs’ first five goals of the run.
By the numbers
3: Players to score for Athens – Padden (3), Smith (2) and Patrick Forsyth (1 goal and 1 assist).
9: Saves for Athens goalie Jack Rogers.
7: Combined saves for Middle Creek goalies Gavin Sheffer and Jonathan Kelley.