What better way to prepare for a Spring Break trip to Boston than play some wicked good lacrosse? Although No. 1 Foothill High School did not play a perfect game against No. 7 Great Oak on Saturday, and may not have met their own high standards, it was wicked good by most standards. Foothill, now 12-0, overcame a number of early flaws and won, 16-4, in their last game before next week’s spring break trip to play three Boston powerhouses.
Give Great Oak their due. The Wolfpack played their usual tough brand of lacrosse, and that toughness contributed to much of the early Foothill rustiness. But they learned what many other teams are learning this year; playing tough and playing well are not enough against the Knights. You they have to play them great.
Coach Jon Fox liberally played his deep bench and Foothill’s renowned defense hassled the offense and stole the show (and several balls) once again. Long stick defenders Danny Carter (4 groundballs, 1 caused turnover), Matt Marano (4GB, 1CTO, length-of-the-field runs for 1g, 1a) and Spencer Davis (4 GB) forced the Wolfpack into several mistakes and hurried shots; goalie Ryan Blank had nine saves and gave up two goals in three quarters of work; and defensive midfielders Julien Marchese (5 GB, 1 a), Chris Reem (3 GB) and Nathan Knight (3GB, 1CTO) transitioned and defended up and down the field.
Eight Foothill players scored, Nate Marano (6g, 2a) led the Knights with an eight-point game. Freshman Ellis Geis (3g) appears to be getting more comfortable at the varsity level. His first goal came in the opening seconds off the opening faceoff – Reem to Nathan Skeen (1g, 2a) who led Geis with a perfect pass. Foothill also got goals from Cole Falbo (2g), Evan Brown (1g), Kevin Kodzis (1g) and Steven Oberly (1g).
An area that keeps improving is Foothill’s face-off team, led by senior Austin Babb (Ottawa), junior Sam Cron and their wings who combined to win 20 of 23.
Great Oak, now 7-3, was led by Zach Fruehe (2g, 1a), Ricardo Dominguez (1g), Connor Legault (1g), and Alexander Cunningham (2a).
Next up: Great Oak goes on to play San Clemente on April 7. Foothill catches a plane to Boston.