The Pride men’s lacrosse team secured their opening win of the season against the Garner Trojans 18-1 on March 3. A barrage of offense in the first half propelled the team to a morale-boosting win and gives them momentum heading into their next contest against the Wake Forest Cougars.
The Pride (1-1) began the game with a goal in the opening six seconds. Jack Walton, senior, won the faceoff, passed the ball to Sean O’Brien, freshman, who made one more connection to Zach Blakeman, freshman, who netted the ball in for an easy point. This quick goal exposed the Garner defense, and would go on to set the tone for the remainder of the game.
Through the first half, the Pride continued to break down the Trojan defense and were firing on all cylinders. By the end of the first quarter, the Pride held a commanding 7-0 lead, and led 14-1 by halftime. “In the beginning of the game we came out fast. This game gave us a lot of opportunities to run our offense and defense and prepare us for tougher competition later in the season,” said Cole Jankowsky, junior.
In the second half, the Pride slowed the tempo and began to play more of a possession game. A running clock, when the time does not stop unless for timeouts, was also set into place due to the substantial lead. Only four more goals were scored, but many inexperienced players, including some from the junior varsity team, were given the opportunity to play. “It was a great experience and I was nervous but I knew that I would be fine once I got into the flow of the game,” said Wesley Dunn, a senior, who only began learning lacrosse during the offseason.
Franklin Zirkle, head coach, was satisfied with the team’s performance after beginning the season with a disappointing loss to the team’s rival, the Broughton Capitals. “Our guys played well on both ends of the field. Our younger guys stepped up, and our senior leadership is pretty special. We have a long way to go but we played well,” said Zirkle.
The Pride were led by Sean O’Brien, with four goals, and Brian Fitz, who added three and dished out four assists. In total, Blakeman, Fitz, and O’Brien scored a eight goals and recorded six assists.
The team’s next game is home against Heritage on March 10. More information on the team can be found at MaxPreps.com