The 3rd time was the charm! The Boys Varsity Lacrosse team had faced the Bulldogs of Byron Center twice before losing both times when they drew them again in the 1st round of the Regionals for Division 2. The boys focused hard on film during the week leading up to the game and learning what BC’s tendencies were. The Eagles were without Senior Face-Off Specialist Joey Hildebrand for the game, but Chris Boyd stepped in for Joey and had an excellent night dominating the draws.
The Eagles came out barking at the Dogs, going up 2 to 0 in the 1st Quarter. Junior Captain Ethan Knobeloch recorded a shutout as the goalie in that quarter, with it being the first minutes the Junior Captain has been able to play this season after a pre-season surgery to repair a torn labrum in his hip. The penalty bug bit the Eagles in the 2nd and the Dogs scored 3 goals with 2 of them coming when the Eagles were a man down. Cole Muller found the back of the Dog’s net twice in the quarter allowing the Eagles to maintain a 1 goal lead at the half. The second half was a back and forth affair that ultimately found the Eagles being 1 goal down with less than 3 minutes to play. “Merc” Boender put the biscuit in the basket off a nifty doorstep feed from Hayden Zimmerman to tie the game at 7 apiece. The 4 minute Sudden Victory overtime period started and the play cycled back and forth with both teams making shots and saves. With less than a minute to play the Dogs took a shot on net missing wide, Senior Captain Dirk Zylstra was there for the chase, and it was Eagle ball. Dirk brought the ball upfield and made a sneaky underhanded pass to Zimmy streaking up the left alley. Hayden snagged the pass outside the box, beat his defender like a drum and went streaking to the front of the cage where he blew a nifty sidearm shot past the Dog’s tender with just 6 seconds left on the clock. EAGLES WIN!
Merc Boender, TK Koeman, Ronin “Mighty Mouse” Dixon and Marcus Abbott all had 3 Ground Balls, and Graham Kormash had a tie with Hayden “Zimmy” Zimmerman for the Hoover Award with 7 GB’s each. Points on the night had TK Koeman with an assist, Merc Boender and Marcus Abbott each had a goal and an assist. Cole Muller had 2 goals and Chris Boyd had 2 goals and 2 assists. Zimmy was firmly in Fuego with 2 assists and 2 goals including the game-winner to go with his Hoover Award.