Boys Varsity Lacrosse - Spring 2019
Game Summaries & Headlines.
- Game Date
- May 28, 2019
- EAGLES: 2
LAKE ORION HIGH SCHOOL: 16
Senior Kyle Loken controlled the ball nearly 10 yards away from the cage and waited for his moment.
He put a few moves on his defender and beat Eisenhower senior goalie Mark Denha to give Lake Orion a 1-0 lead just 81 seconds into the game.
It was all over after that, as the Dragons (18-2) cruised a 16-2 victory over the Eagles (10-9) on Tuesday at Swinehart Field to secure the MHSAA Division 1 regional championship. It’s Lake Orion’s first regional title in program history.
“These guys have put a lot of work into it,” said Lake Orion coach Ron Hebert. “It’s a long time coming, and we earned it. We’re looking to make some memories and do something we didn’t think we could do.
“We knew we could do this much.”
With the title game victory, Lake Orion advances to play in the state quarterfinals Friday against Hartland.
“We were fortunate to be here and took advantage of it,” Hebert said. “Now, we have to move on and play better, play great. I dread it and relish it at the same time.”
After the Dragons’ opening goal, Eisenhower got one back off the stick of junior midfielder Matthew Bean with 4:10 left in the quarter, but Loken struck yet again to put his squad ahead, 2-1.
Loken finished with seven goals.
“Our team has so many threats and shooters, so that helped me out,” Loken said. “It got me open. There was a lot of good ball movement.”
Senior midfielder Dakota Zehler earned himself a steal and score with just 2.4 seconds left in the first for a 3-1 lead.
Lake Orion controlled the offensive possession for a majority of the first 12 minutes, and Hebert’s group continued to do so throughout the contest. Just 44 seconds into the second quarter, the Dragons made it 4-1 on a shot into the net from senior attacker Sam Parillo.
Moments later, sophomore defender Jagger Sines scored for a 5-1 edge with 10:18 left until halftime. Lake Orion went ahead 7-1 on goals from junior midfielder Joe Cady and senior attacker Nicolo Ruffini at the 5:54 and 4:29 mark, respectively.
To end the first half, senior midfielder Max Tuohy swiped the ball from an Eisenhower defenseman with numbers in transition. He drew the lone remaining defender to him before dumping the ball to Loken for his third goal of the contest, giving the Dragons an 8-1 lead.
Loken, as it became expected of him Tuesday night, opened the third quarter with a goal. Eisenhower junior attacker Evan Gregorich scored past Lake Orion senior goalie Jack MacLeod with 6:13 remaining in the third, but it was nowhere near enough to give the Eagles a comeback opportunity.
“I can’t be prouder of them,” said Eisenhower coach Andrew Ferrari. “Our seniors put it on the line. It’s a tough loss, and you hate seeing the trophy go away on your home field.”
The hole was too deep, and it only grew as Loken, a Grand Valley State lacrosse signee, found the back of the net 38 seconds later for a 10-2 edge. The senior midfielder scored again with 4:39 left in the third on a goal where he set himself up by using a spin move to toss his defender off his back.
Lake Orion scored five goals in the fourth quarter, including one that was occurred eight seconds in from Cady. Loken, Zehler, junior attacker Hunter McCarty and senior midfielder Nolan Alexander also scored in the 12-minute frame to cap off a 16-2 annihilation and a trip to the state quarterfinals.
“It means a lot,” Loken said. “We’ve been working for this ever since I got in high school. It’s been one of our goals. This is huge.”
Lake Orion earned a 19-1 victory over Utica in the regional quarterfinals, 17-4 win over L’Anse Creuse North in the semifinals and, now, a 14-goal defeat of Eisenhower to advance in the playoffs. The Dragons outscored opponents 52-7 in those three games.
“The history of it shows we were the better team,” Hebert said. “We had bigger, faster and better players. We are going to keep going up a level, but we were confident we could get it going.”