How great it felt being out on the field last night for EVERYONE . . . players, coaches, referees and this reporter. A small mea culpa, since I was standing alone I did move my mask down a little since the glasses kept getting fogged . . .
Didn’t take away from the event . . . which comes nearly 50 weeks after the last game of 2020.
Artificial Turf never smelled so good.
As with any game played after such a long layoff, there was some sloppiness and the team that minimized it ends up winning the game and that was very true last night. Clearing was not clean and there was a lack of crispness in the passing. A number of these turnovers led to odd-man breaks that resulted in the goals.
Par for the course for the resumption of play nearly a year later.
The good news? Plenty of time to improve. More good news? There was a lot of talent on the field last night and when it went smoothly it was fun to watch.
When I look back on the game, the winning margin was pretty much in line with the statistics and one key to me was the ground ball battle in the middle of the field. SJP won more faceoffs but were turned over a number of times from there. Most of the 50/50 ground balls went PC’s way and a few led to those odd man rushes mentioned. PC took advantage of a few more EMO’s and turned it over less and WHERE the turnover occurred was something that hurt SJP more. Add it all up and you’ve got the 13-10 final score.
Colby Geddis opened the scoring for PC at 8:57 as he split dodged up top and his low shot got through SJP’s Landon Reichert for the 1-0 lead. With 3:16 to go in the quarter it was Colin Servoss finding Matthew Yellin in the middle from behind left for the low right corner shot and 2-0. SJP got that back quickly in less than a minute as Henry Konsker dodged off the left side, spinning right for the the low, far side shot past PC goalie Jonathan Valdes and it was 2-1 after one.
The goals came fast and often in the second. At 10:52 Nigel Vital drew the double team behind the net and found Harrison Mullen on the right crease for the putaway and 3-1. SJP then went on a 4-goal run to take the 5-3 lead. Travis Dick with a left wing swim dodge and low finish at 8:39, followed by brother Trevor Dick picking off a clearing pass, going down the right alley and finding Konsker on the left crease for the easy goal at 7:48. A little over a minute later it was Kyle Davis up top feeding the left wing to Konsker for the 10-yard step down and 28 seconds later Joe Dean finished the run with a high rip from the middle at 6:07.
PC then turned that score back around with 3 goals of their own in less than 2 minutes. At 4:55 Jordan Faison found Servoss cutting from right behind and hit him on the crease from up top for 5-4. Vital tied it up after a turnover on the clear and nailed a high left-hand shot from the middle at 4:14 and Faison regained the lead at 3:00 as he went down the middle for the low shot and 6-5. SJP’s Konsker tied it up at 1:50 as he cut to the middle and Mike Evans found him from behind the net for the step down and we went to the half at 6-6.
PC took control in the third quarter with a 4-goal run aided by turnovers. At 10:28 it was Vital working the left wing and his bounce shot kicked high for 7-6. At 8:26 it was Servoss returning the favor to Faison on EMO, with the low right pass allowed Faison the step down on the right wing for 8-6. Less than a minute later Yellin drew the double in the middle and found Mullen on low left for the putaway and at 5:15 it was Yellin catching an errant shot near the left crease and finishing for 10-6. Travis Dick then got one back with 1:37 to go, curling from behind the left side and finishing low for 10-7 after 3.
SJP narrowed it to 10-8 on EMO, Jake D’Antuono found Matt Evans up top from behind the net for the step down. Vital got that back at 5:14 as he won a ground ball near the faceoff circle, drove the right alley and finished low left. SJP responded at 4:24 as Mike Evans was able to get off the shot from left wing for 11-9 but Vital answered that one 36 seconds later and PC put it away on EMO a minute later as Geddis found Yellin on the crease. A late goal by Dean made the final 13-10.
One in the books, now let’s put plenty more of them there . . . we’ve all learned to not take it for granted.
Here’s PC Head Coach George Harris on the win:
— FloridaLacrosseNews (@FloridaLX) February 18, 2021
Faceoffs: SJP 17-9
Shots: PC 38-31
Shots on Goal: PC 24-19
Turnovers: SJP 25-19
Penalties: SJP 5-3
Nigel Vital 4G/1A
Matthew Yellin 3G/1A
Jordan Faison 2G/1A
Harrison Mullen 2G
Colin Servoss 1G/2A
Colby Geddis 1G/1A
Jonathan Valdes with 9 saves
Henry Konsker 4G
Travis Dick and Joe Dean with 2G each
Mike Evans 1G/1A
Matt Evans 1G
Trevor Dick, Kyle Davis and Jake D’Antuono with 1A each
Landon Reichert with 11 saves
Thanks to Coach Harris and Coach Bolger for talking to me after the game!