Boys varsity lacrosse advances to State semifinals with dominating 19-4 win over Warren De La Salle

Matthew Mahoney

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Fresh off of a Regional championship win, the boys varsity lacrosse team had a quick turnaround with only one day of practice to prepare for the State quarterfinals. The opponent for the Rangers in the quarterfinals was the Warren De La Salle Pilots, a team that has struggled as of late, especially against some of the higher quality opponents on the east side of the state. Thankfully for FHC, the powerful offensive lineup that the Rangers have picked up the pace from how it played against Forest Hills Northern, and the Rangers got off to a quick lead and never looked back.

While there haven’t been many visible issues in how the Rangers have played so far this season, one dilemma that has continued to hurt the Rangers is slow starts offensively at the beginning of the game. This was the case once again on Friday, as in the first seven minutes the Rangers really struggled to score. The offense was playing well and creating good chances, but the attackers failed to convert, with their shots either hitting the post or going straight to the goalie.

However, once the deadlock was broken, the goals began to come in bunches. Senior Evan Metaj got things going for the Rangers early on, finding space in the gaps between the defense in the middle of the field and finishing his chances. The defense shut down the Pilot offense, allowing only 1 goal in the entire first half. Senior Cam Deines was dominant for FHC, bodying and sliding well to close off DLS. When a chance for De La Salle did get in a threatening area, senior Jack Nolan did his best to keep the ball out, recording 5 saves early on.

In the second quarter, the Ranger offense kept the momentum from the end of the first going, scoring 8 goals in a span of 12 minutes, making the score 13-1 at the interval. Leading the offense were seniors Evan Metaj, Luke Majick, Tate Hallock, Kyle Collar, along with junior Jackson Clay. After an early injury to senior Brett Koczenasz, Kyle received an opportunity to capitalize on the available playing time. He did exactly that, scoring 2 goals and assisting his teammates twice.

Jackson scored at least 6 goals for the fifth straight game, with his total on Friday equaling Wednesday’s performance with 6 goals. Evan, Luke, and Tate all scored the same amount of times that they did on Wednesday, adding 4, 3, and 3 goals apiece on Friday.

Just like most blowout games go for the Rangers, the second half consisted of spread out playing time, which has often resulted in a slower offense as a result of trying to slow the game down. Both sides of the ball did their job, extending the lead and closing out the game.

As a result of this win, the Rangers’ record improves to 20-1. The boys move on to the State semifinals with the victory, and they will play the Orchard Lake St. Mary’s Eaglets on Wednesday, June 5th at 6:30 pm at Okemos High School. The Rangers have already played OLSM this season, with FHC pulling off a 16-2 victory on May 14th. However, the Eaglets come into this game with some momentum after a recent win over Detroit Country Day, so the Rangers will be dealing with a respectable opponent.