Lacrosse boys win first section playoff game
The Hastings boys lacrosse program continues to make strides, and on Tuesday night, the team added a key win to its 2013 resume.
The Raiders earned a win in the section tournament, beating Park in Cottage Grove.
Hastings earned the No. 9 seed in the section and Park was No. 8.
"I think everyone on our team wanted this (matchup)," coach Brian Jenson said. "After losing to them by one goal earlier in the season at home, we definitely wanted to have a chance to make up for it. It was a milestone game for both programs. Both teams were looking for their first playoff win in the MSHSL. It's our biggest rivalry, and a lot of players on the squads know each other and are friends."
Park took a 10-4 lead at halftime.
"Park came out real strong, pressuring the ball and taking their time setting things up on offense," Jenson said. "We couldn't get comfortable with the ball and weren't giving help to the ball carrier on offense or defense."
Despite the big deficit, Hastings didn't give up.
"Being down that much and having to come back wasn't so much knowing what we needed to do on the field, but believing that they could come back," Jenson said. "This game wasn't going to come down to previous match-ups, records, who had more talent, etc. It was going to come down to who wanted it more. We needed to want to win as bad as we want to breathe. At halftime we just reminded them of that, that they needed to dig deep and prove how bad they want to win. And that's exactly what they did."
Hastings scored five unanswered goals, making the score 10-9. Park scored, then Hastings added three more goals to take a 12-11 lead.
With just under a minute to play, Park tied the game 12-12 and sent it to overtime.
It was the first overtime game of the year for Hastings.
"Both teams had chances and made some mistakes but we were finally able to get the game-winner towards the end of the second overtime," Jenson said. "The guys played unbelievable to come back from that. It was completely a team effort and they deserve so much credit for sticking with it. I don't think I've ever been a part of a more exciting game as a coach or player and I don't think I ever will. This is easily the highlight of our season."
Sam McGree led Hastings in points with six. He had five goals and one assist.
Also scoring goals were Brandon McCarthy (three), Ryan Gillard, Andrew Cordell and Logan Chilson (three).
Earning assists were Michael Gegen (two), Gillard (two), Cordell and Colin Shoen (three).
Gillard had seven ground balls. McGree had five and McCarthy had five.
Zach Chilson played in goal for Hastings and earned the win. He made 17 saves.
Hastings lost to White Bear Lake on Tuesday, May 21, 14-1.
"Going into the White Bear game we expected that it was going to be a tough matchup," Jenson said. "They are the top team in the conference and are always a strong overall team. Defensively, we knew that they were going to put up quite a few goals. Our main priority was to make them earn every one of their goals, and for the most part we did that. They have the potential to score a lot more than 14 goals, so I'm happy with what we did on the defensive end. We also did a great job of matching their intensity all over the field. This is a game we just wanted to play hard and get a lot of guys involved. It was the second of four games in a row, and we wanted to keep guys fresh for the rest of the week, so we rotated a lot of bench players."
On Wednesday, May 22, Hastings beat Owatonna, 6-5.
Hastings was down 3-0 early but came back to win.
"We narrowly beat Owatonna 6-5 the following day," Jenson said. "We were missing our leading scorer Sam McGree due to illness, so we had to find other guys to take a bigger role on offense. This was a great comeback win for us as we were down 3-0 early and came back to win it at the end."
McCarthy had two goals. Dustin Ohlhauser, Andrew Cordell, R.J. Martineau and Logan Chilson all had goals. Earning assists were Ryan Gillard, Shoen (two) and Logan Chilson.
Zach Chilson made 15 saves in the win.
On Thursday, May 23, Hastings lost to Lakeville South, 9-7.
"Once again we started slow and got down early," Jenson said. "We were trailing by two or three goals most of the game. The biggest adjustment we had to make all week was getting comfortable in our offense with so many more guys rotating in. With four games in a row, we couldn't rely on the starters to play as many minutes as usual."
Scoring goals for Hastings were: McCarthy (two), McGreen (two), Jason Schultz, Cordell and Shoen. Earning assists were McGree, Ohlhauser and Shoen (two).
Ryan Gillard had six ground balls.