with gallery: Dexter, Father Gabriel Richard bounced from boys lacrosse tournament
Both the Father Gabriel Richard and Dexter boys lacrosse teams saw their seasons come to an end in Division 2 boys lacrosse regional semifinals held Tuesday at Gabriel Richard.
The Fighting Irish fell victim to a miserable third quarter that saw Warren DeLaSalle score four goals in the first three minutes, part of 13 straight scored by the Pilots in a 16-5 win.
“We just didn’t have the ability to readjust to what they were doing. My hats off to them,” said Gabriel Richard coach Jim Carl.”They’re great kids, they’re great players, they played with a lot of class and I think they’re going to do well.”
Dexter entered its game with a 17-1 record and appeared to be a favorite to advance past Pontiac Notre Dame Prep (8-10) to the regional final. But the Dreadnaughts were beaten 15-4 in a game where they never led and never got within four goals after the first quarter.
“We were a little out-gunned. I think some of our guys weren’t used to the disciplined pressure that Notre Dame had,” Dexter coach Brian Callanan said. “You see pressure a lot, but a lot of times it’s unfocused pressure. They did a great job taking us out of our methodical approach.”
The Dreadnaughts entered the game with one of the state's more potent offenses, averaging 16.6 goals per game and featuring two 70-goal scorers and one 50-goal scorer. Unlike the regular season, however, Dexter never found a rhythm, scoring only two goals in each half. (Boxscore)
Dexter has only played boys lacrosse for three seasons, each of which has ended in a regional semifinal. Despite the disappointing result, Callanan wouldn’t take the loss as only negative.
“More than anything, it’s about lacrosse acumen. We just haven’t really been in a lot of big games to understand pressure,” said Callanan. “I think we learned a lot today. Again, this program is 3-years-old and we’ve made it to this game all three years. We’re just looking to keep building it and turning our players into good student-athletes.
"Although we lost, I’m extremely proud of these boys and what they’ve accomplished.”
In the second semifinal, Gabriel Richard at one point led De La Salle, 5-3, and trailed 6-5 at halftime before the Pilots pulled away in the second half.
“I think it’s a little bit of everything. We ran out of gas, the coach we’re going up against (Mike Jolly) has been around a long time and made some great adjustments,” said Carl. “Our plan was to slow the game down a little bit and not take the first shot, but the best shot and I thought he stuck to that game plan in the first half.”
Although he surrendered 13 goals, Gabriel Richard goalie Ryan Preston also made 13 saves on the day, helping keep the game close in the first half. Through two quarters, Preston made 10 saves in just his third game at the varsity level. (Boxscore)
“I thought he did a great job, I think a lot of those goals, there wasn’t much that he could do. Our defensemen got a little tired and when you’re playing sluggish in front of a young goalie, they absolutely started piling up,” said Carl. “Fundamentally he gets better every single week. That’s probably the best he’s played.”
Carl also gave credit to his seniors, saying that have helped Gabriel Richard turn the corner with its program and the Irish will be better off because of their efforts.