Vandy 13 Westwood 6
Updated: Feb 21, 2020
Sophomore Griffin Shaffer went 17/18 at the Face-Off X on a brisk night in Austin at Monroe Stadium to help lead the Division 1 Vandegrift Vipers to a 13-6 victory over the Division 2 Westwood Warriors.
An inter-divisional matchup, both squads were looking to use this game to get into the flow of the season and prepare for upcoming district play. Of course there were plenty of “early season” mistakes, but we saw a lot of good things and a great game from both sides. Having three games already under their belt, the Vipers had an apparent advantage as they hosted the Warriors for their season opener
The Vipers are dialed in offensively; attacking defensive rotation and consistently getting the ball to the backside with purpose. The key contributors were senior Conor Hoff (3g,1a), senior “Captain” Brady Middleton(2g,2a), junior Ethan McKinley(2g,2a) and senior Wyatt Hawkins with a hat-trick.
Photo Credit: @phantomlacrosse
Scoring on their first two possessions, the home team was able to get out to an early lead they wouldn’t relinquish for the duration of the game. Once getting over the nerves that come with the first game of the season, the Warriors started to get comfortable in all facets of play. Defensively, they played aggressively, used their athleticism to their advantage, and communicated extremely well.
Their play defensively allowed Westwood to enjoy the ball on offense and they were able to create some opportunities to bring it to 5-2 after the 1st quarter of play. With three quick goals to open the 2nd frame, this game appeared to be out of reach for the Warriors but they continued to compete and showed tremendous effort to stay in it with a score of 9-4 going into halftime.
Shaffer will prove to be a huge asset for Vandegrift as he will give the Vipers A LOT of possession this season. Westwood used multiple players to try and find something that would stymie the Viper draw-man, but Shaffer continued to retain the ball for the Vipers making it tough for Westwood to get the run going that they needed. Coupled with strong defensive play, especially from sophomore Ryan Sheppard, Vandegrift never took the pressure off, bringing us to a score of 12-4 after the 3rd quarter and an eventual final score of 13-6.
Westwood outscored Vandegrift in the fourth quarter of the game 2-1 and is definitely something to hang their hat on to build momentum moving forward. Senior Connor Cooper(2g) was the key contributor offensively for the Warriors. Senior Brice Griffin added a goal while senior Duncan Alvarez and junior Devin Green each added assists of their own. Cooper will be the catalyst for their offense and will most likely be drawing the opposing team’s best defensive midfielder for the majority of the season.
Photo Credit: @phantomlacrosse
With the win, Vandegrift improves to 4-0 on the season and head east to Houston to take on two very competitive teams in Friendswood and Bridgeland. Westwood will continue to test themselves against division 1 opponents leading into district play against Austin High on Saturday and Round Rock next week.
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