By Ernest Stone
Despite a sluggish start, the St. Ignatius boys’ lacrosse team proved in its decisive 13-2 victory over visiting Brophy College Prep of Phoenix, Ariz., that how you finish is more important than how you start.
“As a coach, you can tell in practice what kind of effort you are going to get out of your team, and I could tell we were a little flat,” said St. Ignatius head coach Chris Packard. “It helped that we won a lot of faceoffs, and we are fortunate that things went the way they did, because they are a talented ball club.”
Just 10 seconds into the Jerry Langkammerer Invitational contest Brophy (24-4), one of Arizona’s elite teams, capitalized on St. Ignatius’ lack of intensity and scored the first goal of the game, appearing to set the stage for a high-octane offensive battle.
However, following an answer from Wildcats attacker Bobby Gray just two minutes later, the two teams stood their ground and entered the second quarter in a 1-1 tie.
“We only get the opportunity to face teams as good as St. Ignatius once in a while, so we were happy to get in that first punch,” said Brophy coach Zach Widbin. “But we fully expected the type of game that ended up happening, and while we needed better stick-work and more confidence, we definitely aren’t discouraged after today.”
But the Broncos’ inconsistencies in execution plagued their second-half comeback bid. After a Brock Ghelfi goal brought Brophy to within 3-2 late in the third quarter, a possible tying goal was squandered less than a minute later.
From that point on, the Wildcats (17-3, 8-0) dominated. Following Brophy’s second goal, the St. Ignatius offense caught fire, scoring two goals in the final minute of the third quarter to push the lead to 5-2.
Once the fourth quarter began, it didn’t take long for the Wildcats to get back to work. Following a J.W. McGovern goal with 10:30 left to play, Wildcats senior attacker Jack Bodine scored three goals within a one-minute span to push the lead to 9-2. Soon after, teammate Peter Doyle added his third and fourth goals of the contest, and by the time the final buzzer sounded, the final score ballooned to 13-2.
“We are typically the team that comes out and puts up the early points,” Doyle said. “So it was great to play a game where we were the team trying to come back and fight off a slow start.”
Thursday’s game enabled the Wildcats to flex their muscle against an elite opponent, and the decisive win is a welcome sign as the team heads into one of its biggest games of the year against Southern California powerhouse Coronado in Santa Barbara.
“That Coronado game is huge,” Bodine said. “After that tough overtime loss to Torrey Pines we just had, we really want this one.”
B: 11:51 – Joe DeWulf
SI: 9:58 – Bobby Gray
SI: 3:50 – Matt Emery
SI: 0:59 – Peter Doyle
B: 3:25 – Brock Ghelfi
SI: 1:01 – Doyle
SI: 0:22 – James Milligan
SI: 10:31 – J.W. McGovern
SI: 9:53 – Jack Bodine
SI: 9:22 – Bodine
SI: 8:48 – Bodine
SI: 8:26 – Doyle
SI: 6:21 – Doyle
SI: 5:06 – Spencer Evans
SI: 4:27 – Emery