As tradition dictates, the first real action we take in for @StickStarReport is always at the Jesuit Invitational. It truly is the kick off for preseason action even though some teams are about to start counter games as soon as this week. This year's group of participants was excellent; bringing in State Championship contenders, quality Central District talent, and a wide range of public school programs. In addition to these publics, Dallas Jesuit, Jesuit of New Orleans, and Parish Episcopal (who made 1st appearance with a quality opening win against Colleyville 7-6, scoring with 24 seconds left in the game to seal the deal) competed as well.
Again the teams participating included: Dallas Jesuit - Prosper - Flower Mound - Coppell - Rockwall - Dripping Springs - Colleyville - Vandegrift - Parish - Plano - Jesuit New Orleans
This year, @StickStarReport was dialed in on almost every single game that took place this past weekend. Laser Focus to kick off the season and ready to crush an awesome amount of content, for you the Fans of Texas Lacrosse. Here are some of the the games we thought were excellent:
Coppell vs. Rockwall: 6-5 Rockwall Victory
This game was a tale of two halves. Both squads came out swinging to start the match as this was each team's 1st contest of the weekend. The two exchanged goals early. At the 8:26 mark, Rockwall's John Burton stuck one to make it 3-3. However, back to back Coppell goals late in the 1st frame would put the Cowboys up to end the 1st half, 5-3. The 2nd half became a track meet. Rockwall used Coppell's inability to sustain possession to get right back in there, and tie it up 5-5. Both teams started to tire out, as you really have to play yourself into game shape. It wasn't untill the 13:56 mark that Rockwall's Dylan Brunk was able to register the decisive blow; a short handed bucket, the senior was able to manufacture in transition. This was a quality win for Rockwall and proved to be a great learning opportunity for a young Coppell squad. Coppell would definitely learn a thing or two in the next game we cover.
Jesuit vs. Coppell: 8-4 Coppell Victory
We rolled over to this game a little late but just in time to witness the real shocker of the Jesuit Invitational. In all the years that @StickStarReport has covered this tournament I'm not sure we've ever seen Jesuit lose. They did so to a Coppell team that hadn't defeated Jesuit in any contest since the 2011 State Championship. Coppell was able to build upon a 3-2 halftime edge by doing serious work on in all phases of the game. The Cowboys were able to sustain a ton of possession time in the 2nd half with quality stick work and tons of completed passes which ended up in a three goal gun, and a four goal advantage. The new look attack unit for the Cowboys really applied pressure with Walker Cain, Leo Swaldi, and Max LaMendola all looking sharp. The Rangers lost a ton of leadership in the senior class, a group that played a huge part in Jesuit winning their first, 2 State Championships. Jesuit would rebound against Dripping Springs however with a punishing 10-0 victory. Circle this game on your Calendar for some Regular Season fun!
Vandegrift vs. Prosper: 8-5 Prosper Victory
Another solid game from this weekend was Vandy vs. Prosper. Vandy with some quality top end talent, and Prosper is definitely a D2 Title Contender. The FaceOff X brought some some intrigue as Jack Delano (Prosper) vs. the Vandy tandem of Brady Middleton and Griffin Shaffer was fun to watch. Vandegrift was able to get things going early taking a 2-0 lead, but Prosper answered with a three goal run of their own to end the half with a lead of their own. The game stayed close until Hayden Stout registered his 2nd bucket in the 2nd half which ultimately helped the Eagles finish out another 3 goal run to finish the game. The dominant offensive seniors including Stout, Zane Williams, and Cole Schmidtt decided to put this on their back in the 2nd half contributing on each of the final 5 Prosper goals.
Dripping Springs vs. Rockwall: 11-5 Rockwall Victory
Rockwall was able to sustain another quality effort against Dripping Springs in this contest. Senior Dylan Brunk, and juniors Hunter Roberts and John Burton led the way offensively each registering a Hat Trick in the match. Dripping Springs loan goal in the first half came on a FO win forward by Alex Schlabb. Schlabb demonstrated some solid skill holding the point defenseman by faking his way to the middle. Dripping Springs was able to solve the mystery that was Josh Hargrove just a bit as junior Nic Austin was able to beat the Rockwall tendy twice in the second half. Ultimately Rockwall had too much juice and registered an impressive out of district victory.
Vandegrift vs. Flower Mound: 7-7 Tie
This game proved to to be one of the most entertaining matchups of the weekend as it came right down to the wire! They often say lacrosse is a game of runs and this contest was no different. After trading blows early, Vandegrift took advantage of an absolute laser by Rutgers-bound Robert Almand to go on a 4 goal run. The Vipers dominated possession throughout the 1st half; however, Flower Mound made a run of their own to end the half netting 2 goals in 2 minutes.
After the halftime break, Andrew Hetrick and Flower Mound picked up right where they left off as he netted his 2nd goal of the game in as many minutes, tying the match up at 5-5. The two traded goals again and with 6 minutes left in the game Flower Mound took their 1st lead of the game. The contest looked all but over before Vandegrift’s Robert Almand took matters into his own hands on a late equalizer with just over a minute left in regulation! Both teams rushed to the face-off X where Brady Middleton secured one final possession for the Vipers, and with just :07 left on the clock Vandy finished an absolutely filthy goal but was ruled in the crease!
A great weekend, and a great kickoff to the season. Contest, coverage, and commentary are all here on your new home for the most consistent coverage of Lacrosse in Texas, StickStarLax.com. Please, stay dialed in! Like us on Facebook, and follow us on Twitter and Instagram (@StickStarLax). You should also check out @StickStarATX and @StickStarHype as well! Please, share our content and tweet at us all year with scores and use the handle @StickStarReport. We are PUMPED for this year and hope YOU will share our content all season long!