After an undefeated showing at the Jesuit Invitational, the red-hot Ranger Lacrosse team felt confident kicking off the season and home opener against Allen High School, a team which Jesuit hasn’t lost to in recent history.
The Eagles quickly made it clear that this game would not be easily won. They scored four straight goals to start the first quarter. Down 4-0, Jesuit answered back quickly in the second quarter with goals by Grayson Hassell ’18, Tommy Hovivian ’20, and Teddy Wagner ’18, entering halftime tied at 4-4.
The second half was a much different game as the Rangers finally found their rhythm scoring four goals in the third and fourth quarters while only allowing one. Jesuit ended up winning the contest 13-5.
When asked about the initial struggle on the defensive end, senior defender and Michigan lacrosse commit, Aidan Johnston ’18, explained, “The defense came into the season without two of the starters we had last year, Luke Millican and Dixon Smith both of which are currently playing at the Division 1 level. With a new goalie in cage for us we knew it would take a little bit of time to get used to playing together and for us it was the game against Allen. We struggled, giving up 5 goals that could have easily been erased in the 13-5 win.”
The Frisco game was a very different story. The Rangers’ highly decorated defensive unit utilized their week of preparation, shutting out Frisco in the first quarter. Again, Wagner and Hovivian were able to find the net in the first half, leading the team to a 4-1 lead going into the break.
Junior goalie and Hofstra commit, Will Moran, kept the momentum on Jesuit’s side with continual clutch saves. The Rangers’ offensive and defensive success continued through the second half, allowing only one additional goal before substituting the starting core out to allow younger players to get more experience.
Through the first two games, the second-line midfielders played with a chemistry and flow unlike any other line, scoring almost half the team’s goals.
Senior midfielder and Rutgers lacrosse commit, David Sprock praised Moran’s performance in goal: “[Will] kept us in the game with a clutch performance between the pipes.” Following up with Aidan Johnston, he felt that the major difference between this week’s performance and last week’s game against Allen was a different attitude and preparation during practice: “after a week of practice focused on improving the defense and our first game, we were beginning to feel more comfortable playing together and since then have held every team to under 5 goals and look to improve as the season continues.”
The Rangers looked to extend their winning streak as they travelled to Colleyville for the first away game against the Panthers. The starting offensive unit finally found their rhythm as Jacob Jackson, David Sprock, and Grayson Hassell combined for five goals in three quarters. Senior Brogan Neagle also found twine early in the fourth quarter, cementing a dominant win over the Panthers as the Rangers advanced to 3-0 on the season.
The Rangers are beginning to fire on all cylinders. A strong, talented defense supporting a quick and productive offense, the Rangers attribute their ongoing success to a renewed attitude during practice.
Looking forward, the Rangers head to the east coast to battle against some of the nation’s top schools in an attempt to state their claim in the national rankings.
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