Stifling Defense Lifts St. Andrew’s Over Stoneman Douglas

Florida Southern commit Kevin Horwitz was dominant at the face-off X
Douglas goalie David Landess stopping SA’s Matt Adams

If you are reading this, lacrosse has probably taken you to the beautiful fields of Parkland and Coral Springs.  Stoneman Douglas High School has a rich lacrosse tradition which is under the radar compared to other schools, but all that really needs to be said is the St. Thomas Aquinas state champions are chock full of coaches and players from the area.  The Eagles also won a state championship before the current FHSAA structure was established.  Fast forward to 2015’s opening game and the start of the Tony Seaman era at SA, a 14-7 spanking of the Scots.  Welcome to Florida, Tony.  SA prevailed later in the season, winning 9-8 in the playoffs. A rivalry was born.

Douglas attackman Sam Bailin did not score this time, but he did later and played well. Tristan Cade defends for SA.
That’s SA sophomore Matt Adams flying to try to score in the second

Last night the series was renewed with a vengeance, with both defenses causing havoc.  The scoring started slowly and thoughts of a 1-nil soccer game danced in my head.  In fact, the first quarter ended tied at one.  Ugh!  Give me a few goals!  Douglas tallied three in the second and led 4-1 at the half.

Tommy Frank of the Eagles defends against the Scots’ Gryphon Gurin in transition

From here on in, it was all the Scots.  4-2, 4-3, 4-4, 5-4 SA and finally 11-4, Scots.  A second half shutout (soccer…?) Coach Ryan Burton’s Eagles appeared to run out of gas as the game wore on, making a number of forced and unforced errors.  Kevin Horwitz kept winning the face-offs, but the Scots continued to get the ball after the fact.  Coach Marty Ward at Florida Southern has a gem in Kevin.

This writer thinks these two teams could meet again in the play-offs, just like 2015.  Game one went to the Scots this time, but game two could easily go to the Eagles, who showed speed and skill.  When the fundamental rough edges are smoothed out, this group will compete.

Senior goalie Andrew Busel makes a picture perfect save. Thanks to Robin Ranzal Knowles for this great photo
Tito Thompson

With regards to the Scots, this an experienced team, one which could make a deep run at the end of the year. Goalies Andrew Busel and Nick Ferraro lead an experienced defense which includes seniors Mathew Molle and Tristan Cade and juniors Jackson Kennedy and Oliver Alpert.  On the offensive side, Owen Bezick, Nick Iznaga, Tito Thompson, Daniel Zamora and Connor Hopkins are all seasoned seniors.

Both teams are back into action tomorrow as the Scots host a vastly improved St. Edward’s and the Eagles host the undefeated Pine Crest Panthers.  No stats were available at press time.

Mark Heatzig ready to rip
The Scots’ Xavier McCormack hits a wall led by the Eagles’ Jordan Schwartz