5/6/2019 11:47:00 AM CL boys lax team gets their offense cooking, steamrolling three
Chisago Lakes 13, St. Cloud Tech 3 “From the moment the guys took the turf for warmups, I knew it was going to be a different outcome than Hermantown,” boys lacrosse Head Coach Mark Nordby said after CL got their first win of the year. “They looked focused and ready to go.”
After a low-scoring opening game that CL lost 7-2 to Hermantown, they bounced back with a fury on their home turf on Monday, April 22.
On their first goal, Jackson Nelson was set up on the left side of crease and had a nice feed to the inside by Jackson Phillips. Nelson put it away to get things going.
Then, Carson Erickson settled into a gap 15 yards up from the goal and had a nice feed from Colin Sorensen who was dodging down the right alley. Erickson made a strong five yard dodge past a sliding defender and put it in.
Before the first quarter was out, Nelson scored from 10 yards out from the left wing on a pass from in back of the goal by Phillips. “The Jackson to Jackson combo was working tonight,” Nordby said. “We wanted to see more movement by our offense using motions and rotations for shots and goals from inside. Our first goal of the game by Jackson Nelson got us going in the right direction.”
In the second quarter, Max Wilmer got his first varsity goal with a right side dunk shot after great ball movement from Nelson to Phillips to Wilmer. “It was exactly what we wanted to see. We've been working on our man-up plays and trying to get quicker ball movement to keep the defense in constant motion,” Nordby explained. “There is always someone open on man-up but the key is to have fast passing and eventually a gap opens for someone to step in and shoot.”
To keep the offense rolling, senior defenseman Josh Wenthe carried the ball into the offensive end and moved the ball to Nelson on the left alley who quickly dished it down to Phillips who was set up off the left crease. Phillips made a great move on a hard charging defender and put it in for a big goal to make it 5-0.
Tech scored their first goal on a failed clear by the CL defense, with Nordby saying, “We work on clears every week but that one didn't go as planned.”
After halftime, Chisago Lakes continued to pour it on.
Carson Erickson got things started with an unassisted goal dodging right down the middle of the field for a 12 yard bounce shot.
Erickson kept the offense humming when he carried the ball fast up the middle of the field which drew three defenders to him. He then found Phillips on the doorstep of the left crease who put it in the net.
Phillips continued to shine in the third quarter, scoring another goal and dishing out an assist for CL.
The fourth quarter was much of the same. Tech scored first, but CL answered with three goals. Phillips netted the first, Aaron Marx got the second and Henry Reedy potted his first career varsity score.
“Overall it was a great night of lacrosse for us. The defense did their part by limiting the goals and getting the ball into the offensive end,” Nordby said. “The offense seemed really connected and with great passing and finding each other. It's exactly what we work on in practice so it's nice when it comes together in a game.”
Chisago Lakes 14, Rocori 6 The Wildcats took on the other team from St. Cloud, and had a similar result as the first.
It was the tale of two halves, Nordby said. The first half of the game was some of our best lacrosse so far this season. “The guys were possessing the ball, passing well, finding the open man, getting great inside shots with the defense shutting down their offense. We were up 11-2 going into halftime and seemed in solid shape to continue this in the second half,” he said. “In the second half, Rocori outscored us 4-3 so that's something we have to take a look at and figure out what the difference was for us, and what did Rocori do to cause that.”
Nordby thought the boys came out a bit flat and started playing down to a lower level. “All the positives of the first half seemed to go away. I'll give credit to Rocori for spreading our defense out and taking advantage of open shooting lanes and their defense pestering us,” he said.
Although Nordby emphasized getting the win was important, he did say he wants the guys to be playing solid lacrosse all game, and not just a half. “I want us looking at how we can play better and clean up the parts of our game that started falling off.”
Freshmen middie Colten Bergquist and attackman Jacob Willman both notched their first varsity goals as high school player in the game.
Wilmer had a big game with three goals and three assists. “We have been going back and forth about where to use Max. He's a solid long pole defender for us but also for years, played attack as a younger lacrosse player. We've been looking for a lefty attack in some of our plays and Max has filled in nicely,” the coach said. “We may still need him as a defender from time to time but for now, I think he's loving his renewed role at attack.
Phillips continued his offensive assault, as he notched three goals and four assists. "He’s played a lot of box lacrosse this winter and his vision of finding the open player has really helped our scoring output,” Nordby exclaimed.
In all, nine different players scored including Nelson, Owen Christensen, Austin Siefert, Karston Edson, Erickson. Having so many guys scoring is really about the team not caring who scores but just finding the back of the net. “When we pass the ball accurately and quickly, run our motions and rotations, and communicate well, lots of guys will score,” Nordby said. “As has been the case for the first three games, Carson Erickson controlled the face-offs going 19 wins out of 23 face offs. Nordby said he’s worked really hard to get to this level.
The defense continued to play well with seniors Wenthe leading our unit. Josh, along with starters Gabe Nordby, Tommy Sargent, and Kai Kerkow are really putting up some strong stances on the defensive end. “We just need to continue talking and calling out our assignments throughout the game and use great technique to get the ball back and into the offensive end,” Nordby said. “They've done well, but I believe there is a higher level of play they can attain.”