Friday night marked the third straight district game for the Coppell Boys lacrosse program, this time against the defending Texas State Champion and currently 4th ranked Dallas Jesuit Rangers.
The varsity match was a tight game throughout, and the Cowboys struck first on an unassisted goal by Junior Reese Walker (committed to play at Lynn University). Jesuit answered back with a close range laser shot by Junior Grayson Hassell (committed to play at Naval Academy) to tie it up at 1-1. The Jesuit offense worked several methodical possessions, adding two more goals and looked ready to carry a 3-1 lead into halftime, when Reese Walker scored his second goal of the game, followed by a loose ball grab and score by Junior Zach Bartolacci, and all of the sudden, it was tied at the half.
The third quarter was a continued strong effort by the Coppell defense, with Seniors Ryan Gordon and Connor Choate forcing multiple turnovers and grabbing multiple ground balls. Senior Joe Fex turned in an excellent effort all game, with some full-field clears and playing great defense on some tough one-on-one assignments all night.
As Coppell’s man-down unit killed off a penalty late in the 3rd quarter, Cowboy’s LSM Connor Choate led a fast break clear and found Senior Attackman Spencer Haddock, who scored to give Coppell a 4-3 lead. Freshman goalie Hayden MacArthur was strong in net for Coppell, posting 9 saves on the game and helping the defense hold Jesuit scoreless for almost 23 minutes of play leading up to the 4th quarter.
Jesuit was able to corral loose ball scramble off of the 4th quarter opening face off and hit an open David Barnum to tie the game up at 4-4. Jesuit was then able to dominate possession time in the 4th quarter and added two more goals to build a 6-4 lead. As Jesuit worked to kill off the remaining few minutes, Coppell sparked their final scoring threat off a defensive trap and forced turnover by Ryan Gordon, who cleared to Ethan Bivens, allowing Coppell to call time out and set up a chance to make it a 1-goal game in the final minutes. Jesuit was able to make a steal and run the remainder of the clock out for the 6-4 win. It was a great effort by the Cowboys against the defending state champions, and one they will build off of as they head into their final four district games in April.
Earlier Friday night, the JV teams for Jesuit and Coppell faced off, with Jesuit taking an early lead and Coppell never really getting into an offensive groove. Coppell was forced to play a thin at some positions and move some players around due to a couple of injuries to key contributors. The only scoring for Coppell on the night came from Junior Nick Thurmond as the buzzer sounded to end the 2nd quarter, and on a 4th quarter goal from Brandon point, assist from Ethan Bivens.
But the Jesuit JV squad came ready to play and looked sharp all game long. Sophomore Zach Rilley led the scoring efforts for the Rangers with 2 goals and an assist, and the Ranger defense prevented Coppell from getting any easy looks at the goal. Jesuit Sophomore goalie William Moran (committed to play at Hofstra) was just as impressive in the JV game as he was in the varsity game, making eight or more saves in each game.