Landon Lacrosse 7 Gonzaga 6

A game with two lead charges and two tie scores, with constant end-to-end pressure, with awesome athleticism and an atmosphere exuding energy from the enthusiastic fans (the Bear boys won the volume, vigor and frequency cheering contest against the Purple Eagle fans) – all would qualify this contest as an Instant Classic (apologies to ESPN for borrowing their label). The outcome was in doubt until the last seconds (Gonzaga hit the pipe with 0:20 left), but the Bears won a very big victory.


Looking back over the last five years, the Bears’ season frequently has a defining moment (i.e. the win over #1 Haverford at the Capitol Lacrosse Classic; 8-6 over Malvern Prep). These events are marked by the team identifying leaders on the field and create confidence by exerting their will at key struggles (a ground ball, a clear, a great assist, an awesome save, etc.) This game taught the boys that they can beat an opponent with which they have had recent tough losses. Bears 7 Purple Eagles 6



The game started well; @ 9:45 Ryan Pride lost his defender with a turnaround move and then a shot which caught the corner.


Gonzaga first goal came from a broken clear by the Bears and the goal was scored into an empty net at 8:00. Another unassisted Eagle goal was scored at 5:59 and then on an assisted goal at 2:38.


Landon responded with its second goal of the period with Ryan finding Joey Epstein who beat the Eagle goalie @ 2:27




The battle raged on—there were many clears and as the player possessing the ball entered its O zone, the opposing players swarmed that point. Frequently, that confrontation resulted in a turnover. Both teams are athletic, fast and determined.


Controlling the ball is essential to such a close game. Possessions start at the X and Jarrett Witzal showed great prowess at these junctures to the game.


The home team (Gonzaga’s field is being rebuilt) added its fourth goal at 8:44.


The Bears responded with three consecutive goals which created a tie (4-4) and then a lead (5-5). The visitors scored on a brilliant pass from Joey to Colton Rupp who scored @ 6:26. That was soon followed by Nate Buller, who beat his man with his quickness and buried his shot @ 5:13. The second lead change occurred @ 3:34; this goal involved a great feed from Colton to speedy Kennedy Dunn.




The post break after 24 minutes is commonly a time when the Bears tend to dominate, but Gonzaga has a deep roster, too. The home team got an equalizing score at 6:40.


Both teams played hard throughout this quarter,




Nate deposited his 2nd and 3rd goals @ 10:21 and then @ 6:57. The last tally benefited from a great assist by Colton. The last lead change and a two goal advantage were the consequence of these athletic plays.


Gonzaga drew within one goal at 4:57.


The Bear offense contributed by holding the ball until a “timer” violation forced a turnover.


The Bear defense was given the challenge to keep their +1 scoring status for the remaining two minutes. The close defense (a rotation of Landon McKenzie, Andrew Fowler, Tom Evans and Paul Padalino [his opposite number, an Alabama football recruit who last year has 2 goals and 4 assists; but in this game, 0]), LSMs (Justin Connor and Drew Firstenberg), a host of two way middies (in particular Will Powell and Brian Mendez) and Hunter Sells (9 saves, but some of them were rated as game savers by the coaches).


The last few seconds were far too thrilling! The Purple Eagles had the ball in their offensive end of the field. Great stick work by the Bear D caused their opponent shots to fly wide or high of Hunter’s crease. The Gonzaga offense was set to get a player on the far side open, but their passes through the center of the Landon mass of players were deflected by our poles. Hunter, in this last minute, made an incredible save from a Gonzaga player who shot almost from the crease. The last shot was a side winder from about 12 yards, but it hit the corner and bounced away.







All of the boys could share this award, but tradition leads us to pick individual players.


Hunter Sells was amazing in the nets again with 9 saves and 4 ground balls.


Emblematic of the entire Landon defense, a second “That’s a Bear” award goes to Andrew Fowler, 4 caused turnovers and 2 ground balls.


Both honorees in a recent picture.







That makes the Bears 10-0, but to paraphrase from Robert Frost, “there are miles to go before the Bears sleep.”


Published in: on April 3, 2015 at 8:56 am  Comments (1)  

The URI to TrackBack this entry is:

RSS feed for comments on this post.

One CommentLeave a comment

  1. […] Bears beat major powerhouses and rivals Gilman 11-4 then Gonzaga 7-6 in one of the most exciting, well played HS games in the DMV or […]

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: