Complete game helps snap skid
Lacrosse ends three-game losing streak
March 21, 2013
Jalen Jackson unleashes a shot against Defiance. (Wilmington photo/Ray Travis)
Wilmington had one of their most complete performances of the season finally stringing together four quality quarters Wednesday with a 9-7 defeat of Defiance at Williams Stadium.
Several prominent figures for the Quakers emerged tonight aside from their leading scorer, Jalen Jackson (Hilliard, OH/Bradley). Not only did Jackson have another multi-goal game tonight putting away a game-high four goals, an assist and team-high 11 ground balls, he played every minute of the contest never stepping off the field.
Kirby Dearth (Hilliard, OH/Darby) returned after sitting out a game with an injury to add another spark to the Quakers offense with two goals on a team-high 16 shots, two assists and five ground balls. Alex Gossard (Galloway, OH/Hilliard Brad) also netted two goals, an assist and five ground balls and while he stuffed the stat sheets, he brought the intangible to the Quaker offense of controlling tempo and using his lacrosse IQ to set up high-percentage opportunities.
“Alex played smart for us as always,” said head coach Domenic Marzano. “He knows how and when to attack open spaces and is our go-to guy to control the tempo of our offensive sets and did a great job of getting the ball from our midfielders who pushed transition. Alex just find good spots for us on the field and is the ideal player in settling us down to keep possession.”
Marzano's game plan was to push transition through the midfield to unsettle Defiance's zone defense.
“We knew they were going to run a zone and our game plan was to push transition because we needed to beat them in the transition game so they couldn't get comfortable and set up in their zone,” said Marzano. “The quick transition game helped us take control of the third quarter after I stressed pushing the transition game at halftime.”
Marzano was also pleased with out-shooting the opponent and getting 47 shots which only means the attack is moving the ball well in their passing and spacing game, but is demanding more execution in finishing.
“I'm happy we had 47 shots to their 24, but we really need to put the ball away when we get in to good scoring positions,” he said. “We missed five 1-on-1's with the goalie and didn't score.”
The game was anything but a cakewalk in a tightly contested match up where neither team ran away with the lead too comfortably. The lead was never more than two goals and most of the game was played with an one-goal game or tied until the fourth quarter when Austin Johnston (Columbus, OH/Hilliard Bradley) put away a goal at the 2:13 mark of the fourth quarter to give Wilmington a somewhat comfortable 9-6 lead.
Johnston's goal came off a pass from Jackson and was the result of a patient and strategic offensive set, which showed how well the Quakers are coming together as a team in their play on the field.
“What stuck out the most was our team chemistry especially when they scored, we kept our composure and came right back and scored on them, which just shows me how well we are coming together,” said Marzano. “When they tied it up we were positive in the huddle, and we created a good atmosphere for each other where other teams may have began to fall apart when challenged by a team that won't go away like Defiance tonight. I'm just happy with the way we came together.”
Johnston had another all-around performance creating all sorts of havoc in creating turnovers and regaining possession for the Quakers and just proved why he is the team's most consistent player and leader. Garyck Todd (Pickerington, OH/Central) showed why he is a key piece to the defense suffocating attackers with his great stick work and picking up eight ground balls to regain possession for the Quakers on defense and in the midfield.
“Garyck is a main reason why we held this team under eight goals today and I'm happy with his ability to push transition picking up ground balls and kick-starting our offense from the defensive end,” said Marzano.
Wilmington travels to Baldwin Wallace for non-league action 4 p.m. Saturday.