Tom Hickey's four goals lead Saline lacrosse past Huron, 13-1
Saline boys lacrosse coach Matt Ceo isn’t bashful about talking up his best player.
“Tom Hickey’s going to draw the best defender every game, and that’s why he’s going to be a first-team All-State guy,” Ceo said Wednesday. “He’s the best player in the area, period."
In the Hornet’s 13-1 win over Huron Wednesday night at Riverbank Stadium, Hickey did little to prove him wrong.
The senior scored a team-high four goals, as the Hornets (9-4) jumped out to a 5-0l lead and never looked back.
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The performance came after a six-goal output from Hickey in Saline’s 12-10 win over Troy Saturday. Even more impressive was that half of those goals were scored left-handed and half were scored right-handed.
“There aren’t a lot of players that can do that,” Ceo said.
Huron, playing without several key players who are out with injuries, lost its second straight game and fell to 4-5 on the year.
Saline scored its first goal 41 seconds into the game, and notched its fifth nine minutes later, when Hornets defenseman Griffin Sibo forced a turnover and scored from 50 yards away against an out-of-position goalie.
“For those first five minutes we really wanted to pour it on early, get the game under control so we could play our game, slow it down and possess it,” said Hickey, who will play lacrosse at Colorado State next year.
The Hornets jumped out to a big lead by controlling possession early, and continued to hold on to the ball as they slowed the game down.
“That’s something we’ve stressed the whole year is possession,” Ceo said. “We want to possess the ball at all times, especially against a team like Huron who likes to do the same thing, it was important that we get a lot of possessions. That starts with faceoffs and it goes to ground balls, and we were able to do that today.”
Brett Braun added three goals for the Hornets, and six other players each had one. Tyler Cowen started in goal.
The Hornets were able to strike multiple times by getting players open in front of the net on cuts, then hitting them with passes for point-blank shots.
“We preach opposite corner cuts all the time,” Ceo said. “That’s a big thing for us, that’s how we find our open guys. That’s why we feel like we can beat man-to-man defenses, zone defenses, because we have that off-ball action.”
Huron was able to slow down the Saline offensive onslaught after the five nine minutes, but struggled on offense as its possessions were at a premium.
“The execution wasn’t there,” Huron coach Greg Monroe said. “We couldn’t pass and catch, and that’s the first thing about playing lacrosse is you have to pass and catch.”
The Hornets, who have won six of seven since starting the year 3-3, face Skyline Friday in their final SEC game of the season. The MHSAA postseason starts next week.
“I think we’re a pretty solid team,” Hickey said. “We’ve been progressing as the year’s gone on. We started off kind of rough but we’re winning the big ones now.”