One day last summer, Orange sophomore Tanner Boyer saw an Instagram photo posted by Cedar Ridge’s Cole Bullard of his new lacrosse stick. After Bullard scored what appeared to be the game-tying goal with 17 seconds left in regulation of Thursday’s Orange-Cedar Ridge rivalry game, Boyer thought back to his first reaction of that photo.
The ball in the pocket sank low. “That’s illegal,” Boyer muttered to himself.
It’s illegal because having the ball so deeply entrenched in the pocket makes it harder for defenders to knock it free.
While the two teams huddled to seemingly prepare for overtime, Boyer told Orange coach David O’Neal to have the officials check Bullard’s pocket. Sure enough, the mesh was in a similar position as it was last summer.
The referees threw a flag for an illegal stick penalty, nullifying Bullard’s goal and sending Orange fans into a frenzy. Orange won 14-13, beating their crosstown rivals for the first time since 2006.
“I’ve never seen a game end like that,” O’Neal said.
Orange (6-0, 2-0 in Conference 6) rallied from a 9-5 deficit to stun the Red Wolves (5-2, 4-1). Freshman Wyatt Jones scored the game-winning goal on an assist from Koren Mangal with 4:17 remaining on a man-up goal after Cedar Ridge’s Jack Widman was called for a tripping penalty.
Cedar Ridge never trailed through the first three quarters, leading 8-4 late in the first half before Boyer notched his first goal seconds before halftime.
After Cedar Ridge’s Demetrius Lyles scored off an assist from Widman to take a 10-7 lead with 6:49 remaining in the third quarter, Orange finished the frame on a 4-1 run to even the game going into the fourth quarter. Orange’s Payton Wilson, who scored two goals, assisted on the game-tying goal from Mangal as the clock expired to end the third quarter.
Cedar Ridge coach Patrick Kavanaugh said he checks his players sticks every day after practice to make sure they’re legal.
Widman finished with five goals and four assists, pushing his team-leading total to 36 points.