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Slow start plagues Calvert against visiting Warriors

Prince Frederick, MD – The La Plata Warriors boys lacrosse team traveled to Calvert High School to face off in a cross-division SMAC matchup last Monday, April 29. The Warriors defeated the Cavaliers 14-11 in a back-and-forth contest.

“The score indicates that it was a tough game by both teams, we just came out flat,” said Calvert Head Coach Ryan Hunsicker after the game. La Plata came off the buses ready to play against Calvert for the second time this season. The Warriors jumped out to an early five goal lead, sharing the ball and dominating in all aspects of the game. “I think that first quarter is one of the best quarters we’ve played all season,” said La Plata Head Coach Kris Bayer.

Middie Corey Watson is typically who the Cavaliers turn to when they need a spark but a hamstring injury and defensive scheme by the Warriors prevented the senior from being a factor. “That was our game plan. I told them before the game we wouldn’t let [Watson] touch the ball and they thought I was kidding.”

An energized Hunsicker challenged his team during the break before the second quarter and his team answered with a run of their own. With Watson unable to flex his scoring prowess, attackmen Grayson McCurry and Isiah Roberts stepped up with McCurry scoring two goals and Roberts one in the second quarter. The Calvert defense, led by goalie Chris Rerig, and defenders Peyton Kimmell, Josh Wright, and Rodney “RJ” Short suffocated the Warriors offense that had been prolific in the first quarter. The effort on offense and defense brought the Cavaliers within two goals (3-5) before the half.

If Calvert was asleep in the first quarter and La Plata in the second, then both teams were wide awake the rest of the contest, trading blows and taking turns going on runs. Calvert came within a single goal twice in the second half, but the early deficit proved to be too much and the Cavs eventually fell, 11-14.

“Dumb penalties killed us and Calvert played well in their man up [offense],” said Bayer after beating the Cavaliers for the second time this season. The Warriors were led by Doug Cuffage (5 goals, 2 assists) and Preston Pides (2 goals, 4 assists). La Plata will likely see Calvert at some point in the playoffs, at challenge that Bayer acknowledges as “it’s tough to beat a team three times.” The Warriors coach hopes that his team “can carry that first quarter over” into the rest of their season and “see how far” they can go.

Hunsicker had some positive takeaways from the loss, seeing the importance of McCurry and Roberts ability to “step up” when their team needed them to, combining for 10 of the team’s 11 points (McCurry – 6 goals, Roberts – 4 goals).  Going forward, Hunsicker said his team needs to “pick up the intensity” not only in practice but also in their pregame routine. “Our intensity has to match the game so that we aren’t dropping passes in the first quarter. We can’t take a whole quarter to knock the cobwebs off.”

La Plata finished the regular season 10-4 overall, 6-0 in the Potomac division, earning their place as divisional champion and a spot in the conference championship May 7 against Northern.

Calvert finished the regular season 7-7, 3-3 in divisional play, for the fourth spot in the Chesapeake division.

The playoffs begin Wed., May 8.

Contact Jerold at staffwriter@thebaynet.com.

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