BOYS LACROSSE: Catholic Central pulls away from Troy Athens | North Oakland Sports

BOYS LACROSSE: Catholic Central pulls away from Troy Athens

| May 29, 2014 | Comments (0)


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TROY — Novi Detroit Catholic Central was at a disadvantage Wednesday evening.

Due to severe cross-town traffic, the Shamrocks’ bus didn’t arrive at Troy Athens until the scheduled 6 p.m. start time of their Division 1 regional semifinal with the host Red Hawks.

Catholic Central eventually started its contest at around 6:25 p.m. and was slow out of the gate before pulling away with a 19-8 victory over Athens to advance to the regional finals Friday against Clarkston.

“We just got caught in traffic. There is no good way to get here from Novi,” offered Catholic Central coach Dave Wilson. “You go through traffic and you drive into more traffic. We talked about it on the bus and said, ‘look, we are really short on time and you need to make sure you are ready to roll off the bus and get going.’ I thought based on the circumstances, we responded. We were a little slow out of the gate, but played much better in the second half.”

Catholic Central (13-5-0) was deadlocked with Athens at 2-2 at the end of the first quarter, tying the game up with 53.9 seconds left in the period. That goal kickstarted a 6-0 run over a span of 6:53 which gave the Shamrocks a 7-2 lead with 7:13 left in the second quarter.

Athens, despite hitting the goalpost four times in the second quarter, fought back to within 8-6 under three minutes left in the period and trailed just 10-6 at the half. The Red Hawks (11-8-0) closed to within 10-7 just 18 seconds into the third quarter, only to see the Shamrocks close the frame with a 5-0 run for a 15-7 advantage.

Over parts of the third and fourth quarters, CC outscored Athens 9-0 and led by 12 goals (19-7) with 3:26 to play in the contest.

“We have some great athletes and we just need to get them in space,” said Wilson. “That is what we were trying to do and that is what ended up happening.”

Sean Birney, Jack Van Acker and Sean Stanners led a balanced attack with four goals each to lead the Shamrocks. Zack Crawford added two goals and four assists for Catholic Central.

Jake Lining recorded the hat trick for Athens and both Brennan McHugh and Nick Boynton scored two goals apiece for the Red Hawks.

Athens second-year coach Justin Suarez was still pleased with his team’s major improvement this season over last year and the Red Hawks’ run to the Sweet 16. His team ran out of gas in the second half against the heavily-favored Shamrocks.

“I am happy with how the guys progressed all the way to the end,” noted Suarez. “We had a lot of younger guys getting their first varsity action, so they got some good experience. I am happy with the way they competed all the way to the end. Last season we were 9-11 and this year we finished 11-8. We took a nice step forward this year.”

Catholic Central will play in the regional finals for the first time in five years against Clarkston, a Final Four team last season. The Shamrocks defeated Clarkston 11-9 in the season opener back in March.

“It feels good (to get this far) because the last couple years we have been disinterested at this level,” said Wilson. “It felt good to take care of business. We’ll be ready on Friday.

“We need to be very focused (on Friday),” added Wilson.


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