By TIM SULLIVAN
FOR THE PIONEER
Vs. Bloomington Kennedy
The Orono Boys Lacrosse team once again found itself having to battle back from a significant deficit on Tuesday, April 25 at home.
The game began under drizzling rain, which progressed to a steady downpour and a flood of goals by visiting Bloomington Kennedy. The Eagles scored early and often in the first period, which ended at 3-0. They went on to score another two unanswered goals in the second, before Orono got on the board with three consecutive scores by junior Davey Burns to close the gap to 5-3 with two minutes remaining. Bloomington closed out the half with another score to make it 6-3.
The Spartans looked listless during the first half, and had issues maintaining ball possession, compounded by challenging weather conditions. The home team, after halftime adjustments, came out invigorated and determined, scoring two goals in the third period and giving up only one goal.
The defensive unit was stifling in the fourth quarter, posting a shutout, while the offense continued to click, tying the score at 6-6 one minute into the period and scoring two more goals to finish the game with an 8-6 victory.
“The end result was great against a quality opponent but need to stay out of the penalty box and minimize turnovers,” Head Coach Tyler Hein said. “When we did settle down, we were able to battle back and take control in the 4th quarter.”
Vs. Saint Louis Park
The Spartans travelled to Saint Louis Park two days later.
The Orioles scored first, at two minutes into the first period after the Spartans were unable to clear their defensive zone. Orono had some nice shots on SLP goalie Benji Wyberg, who made three consecutive clutch saves.
Orono’s first goal was scored with 5:38 remaining in the first, with great inside penetration by Jackson Zilverberg, who kicked out to Trevor Paul for the score. The score was tied 3-3 at the end of the period.
Orono went on to light it up in the second, which ended with the Spartans up 9-5 at halftime. The third period was largely a defensive battle, each team scoring a single goal, making it 10-6.
After an early goal by Orono’s Will Robinson, SLP took charge of the game. In a huge momentum swing, they went on to score three consecutive goals in 90 seconds, including a man-up goal with nine minutes remaining the game. Both defensive units played tough for the remainder, with Orono scoring the game’s final goal with a minute remaining.
The final score: 12-9 in favor of the visiting Spartans.
“There were some flashes of good offense, which is great as we continue to build. Happy with the defense as well at times, they were able to slow down SLP’s Brody Ilstrup,” Coach Hein said. “If we had stayed out of the penalty box, that would have been a different game.”
The Spartans and visiting Hermantown/Proctor Stealth welcomed winter weather to Pessonen Stadium on the first day of May, where wind chill temperatures dropped below freezing.
The disciplined visiting squad moved the ball well, but ultimately couldn’t keep up with the Spartans attack. The first half ended at an 8-1 tally.
Orono had multiple players on the scoresheet, including ‘hat tricks’ from Junior Jackson Zilverberg and Senior Trevor Paul.
The game ended with a lopsided home win, 16-3.