Pinecrest lax goes to 4-0 mark
Lacrosse has never been stronger at Pinecrest. It's never been better officially, as far as the Patriot win-loss record, in the five-year history of the sport at the school and lacrosse hasn't been more popular than it is right now.
Pinecrest improved to a 4-0 record with a 12-6 victory over Northwood (2-5) on Wednesday evening.
"This is definitely the best start we've had. This is definitely the best team we've had since I've been here," said Patriot head coach Andy Socha.
Lacrosse is a club sport at Pinecrest. The Patriots take on a slate of club and varsity squads. Aside from the unbeaten record so far on the season, the season's already a major success as far as the sport continuing to catch on with more Patriot athletes.
"Two or three seasons ago, everyone was new (to the sport)," Socha said. "Now everyone has played. I'm not having to spend time teaching throwing and catching, so we're able to move on to some more advanced things."
The Patriots have a 30-player roster and Socha's starting 10 Wednesday night had one senior in it.
Sophomore Zack Fradenburgh led the Patriot attack with six goals, including the last four Patriot tallies of the night as they pulled away from what was a 4-2 halftime lead and still a two-goal margin a few minutes into the third quarter.
Pinecrest took the lead less than three minutes into the match with Keegan Good collecting a ground ball near midfield, then racing to within 15 yards of the Charger goal before sending a short-hopping shot by the keeper.
The Patriot defense made the 1-0 lead stand up through two man-down situations before Pinecrest got a second goal midway through the second quarter.
Long-stick defender Kahner George turned a stop into transition offense, bringing the ball into attack and assisting to Fradenburgh a few yards in front of goal, where Fradenbaugh turned a shot quickly for his first goal.
Northwood answered with a man-up goal with 3:34 left in the half. Cory Volk caught a pass from Wesley Meyer, coming from behind the Patriot cage to a tight angle off the left post, but Volk sent a low shot into the net.
Volk tied it for the Chargers 0:40 later. It was another man-up goal. Daniel Burwell's pass set up Volk with lots of space at the top of the Patriot box and Volk fired a long, low shot for the goal.
The Patriots cut down on the penalties a bit from there and were in fine shape as long as they were even strength.
Thomas Dean scored an unassisted goal, working from behind the goal, then fighting out to a narrow angle, but enough space, to the left of the Charger goal, for a 3-2 Patriot lead 33 seconds after Northwood tied the score.
Fradenburgh wound up for a sharp shot, from 12 yards out on the left wing, and a goal making it 4-2 with 0:57 left in the half.
The Patriots and Chargers traded two goals each in the first four minutes of the third quarter. After Volk netted his third goal, making it 6-4 Patriots, Pinecrest needed 11 seconds to score.
Off a faceoff win, Zack Harris raced the ball straight into the Charger box and found Pat Guarante open in the slot. Guarante took the pass, turned and had time for a fake then the shot by the keeper.
Harris added a goal a few minutes later, at the 4:50 mark. The Patriots were a man down but defender Garrett Fakette started the attack, bringing the ball out of the defensive half before finding Connor Hees who assisted to Harris, who took Hees' pass and put the shot away in stride cutting in toward goal.
Two Fradenburgh goals, with 1:28, the 0:36 left in the third, made it 10-5 Pinecrest. Fradenburgh got the next two goals, with his sixth of the game making it 12-5 with 5:10 remaining.
"He's our leading scorer," Socha said, who off the top of his head said Fradenburgh has around 20 goals four matches into the season. "He's a sophomore, so he has room to grow, but he can definitely put it in the net."
For Northwood, Meyer added two goals and an assist to Volk's hat trick. The Chargers will host Eastern Alamance on Monday at 6 p.m.
Hees, Kenny Miller and Luke DuCharme scored a goal each for the Patriots in the second half. Hees and George had two assists each. Keeper Ross Weiss finished with 12 saves. Pinecrest outshot the Chargers 35-31.
The Patriots will host Havelock on Saturday, April 13 at 1 p.m.